This is what we have asked the Labour Party to support and will also be asking others as soon as possible to do the same.
After decades of oppression we believe that disabled people must be afforded self determination from the grass roots level. “Nothing About Us Without Us” must become a reality.
No Longer will we tolerate large disability charities which see us as nothing more than marketable commodities from which to make profits for their own benefit speaking for us and deciding our futures. We expect a Labour Party which claims to support disabled people’s rights to ensure that it is our voices that are listened to and not the empty voices of our oppressors. Without this guarantee DPAC cannot approve of the disability policies of any political party.
The UNCRDP and our human and civil rights must be fully implemented, promoted and enforced.
Disabled people are affected by the cuts 9 times more than everybody else. People with the most severe disabilities are affected by the cuts 19 times more than everybody else. This discrimination against disabled people must end.
DPAC priorities for setting disability policies – Policy Pledges we are seeking from Labour
A Legal Right to Independent Living and Self-Determination:
The creation of a specific independent living law: a legal right that fully enacts and enforces, as domestic law, the UNCRPD incorporating the 12 pillars of independent living as its key goals and ensures provision of independent living support is free at the point of need and paid from general taxation.
A continuing right for disabled people to receive a Direct Payment to fund their own care and support and have a right to choose what option they wish to use to provide that care and support.
There should be a single nationally transportable social care system and an end to localism and the current postcode lottery that exists. Funding for care should return to a 4 tier rather then a 2 tier system with low and moderate needs being met for all as well as substantial and critical. This would, as in the past, act as a preventative measure which would allow disabled people to retain independence and dignity longer.
Set up an Independent living task force, co-produced with disabled people to review independent living in order to identify how best to improve, develop and extend independent living support building on the successful model of ILF provision.
Legislation to end 15 minute home care visits and any move to replace face-to-face visits with telecare options.
Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the use of agencies to provide home care provision with a view of bringing home-care (where provided as a service) back into local authority control.
An end to zero hour contracts for home care staff. Local Authorities to provide sufficient funding for those using Direct payments to meet all their financial responsibilities as an employer.
Serious changes should be made to how family carers are better supported both financially and practically.
Access to Health and Support Services:
NHS funding must be protected and all forms of privatisation of our NHS should end with immediate effect.
Funding for mental health services including crisis teams should be protected and where necessary increased to former and safer levels. There should be an end of rationing of primary MH care services and treatment tailored to needs.
More funding investment is needed for children’s adolescent mental health services.
GP and nurse training should include compulsory training on mental health conditions and treatment.
There must be changes made to the Mental Capacity Act which is failing people it is supposed to protect. The Best Interests concept means that substitute decision making has become the default position rather than supporting people who are disabled or have Learning Difficulties to make their own decisions.
There must be a publicly run welfare system and an end to paying private firms massive amounts of public money to carry out disability assessments badly. Instead that money should be invested into providing decent, liveable benefit levels.
An end to the Work Capability Assessment which is too flawed to amend. No aspect of the social security system should cause distress or deterioration in a claimant’s health condition.
An end to replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payments where assessment processes are in complete chaos. Flawed assessments are depriving many disabled people of the support they need to get to work or to take part in society.
A full public, independent inquiry into deaths of social security claimants leading where appropriate to criminal proceedings against ministers, civil servants, an0d employees of service providing companies, ATOS, Maximus Capita who were found to have broken any laws with respect to this.
Engagement with any back to work services must be optional for all claimants.
An immediate end to benefit sanctions which have led to deaths and increasing poverty. Ensure that there is no conditionality of JSA or ESA WRAG on seeking treatments and no linkage with treatment and receipt of benefits. There must be a statutory right ensuring all people have ‘enough to live on’ and no-one is left destitute without money for food and fuel as a very minimum.
A total rethink on any move to Universal Credit and instead serious consideration to be given working with disabled people and DPOs to a move to a single system of welfare support based on the concept of a disabled person’s citizen’s income.
Policy recognition that there will always be disabled people who are unable or too ill to work. These individuals must be supported by a publically funded system.
A strategic and sustained programme of building social housing to the standards of universal design and accessibility is carried out.
An end to bedroom tax and the Benefit Cap.
Until there are adequate levels of social housing available an increase in LHA rates to fully reflect the real costs of housing to meet the needs of disabled people and disabled children.
Access, Inclusion and taking part in society:
The creation of legal status for British Sign Language, and disabled people’s access on an equal basis with others to the physical environment, to transportation, justice, family life, the arts, to accessible information and all forms of information technology.
Enact and maintain a fully accessible public transport system with free transport available for disabled people.
Fully Inclusive Education:
Education is the key to creating an inclusive society. This can only be achieved by having one fully inclusive mainstream education system, funded by the state. Without inclusive education you will not get an inclusive society
Cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance should be reversed
All Disabled People have a right to Work and get a Job:
A comprehensive plan of action is developed with disabled people and our organisations to tackle the discrimination and exclusion disabled people face in work and employment.
Access to Work (AtW) must be extended to include unpaid voluntary positions and recent changes that limit and reduce the support provided through AtW should be reversed.
The recently introduced (August 2013) fees for taking an employer to Employment Tribunal must be repealed.
Ensure that all government contracts, at a national, regional and local level, are only awarded to companies that are fulfilling measurable targets for the employment of disabled people.
Access to Justice:
All legal aid changes must be repealed and disabled people’s rights to access justice must be restored.
Disability Hate Crime laws and sentencing must be strengthened.
Reversal of the watering down of disabled people’s rights with the move from DDA to the Equality Act.
Restoration of funding for advice advocacy services such as CABs.
Legislation to prevent assisted dying.
Local Authority Statutory Services:
There must be no redefining of Local Authority Statutory Services to reduce their obligations even further.
Real and Effective Co-Production with user-led Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations across the UK:
Ensure meaningful, well-resourced and accessible co-production with disabled people and their organisations at local, regional and national levels on all issues affecting us.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)