Monthly Archives: June 2015

Jo Whiley shows her support for Learning Disability Week

Mencap ambassador shares her story about why family carers need greater support

Jo Whiley, the TV and radio broadcaster and Mencap ambassador, is asking supporters to contact their local MP so that support for people with a learning disability and their families and carers continues to stay high up the political agenda.

You can support our Learning Disability Week e-action and send a message to your local MP here.

Disability benefit backlog is making symptoms of Parkinson’s sufferers worse

Torfaen MP tells parliamentary debate

by John Phillips

DELAYS in claiming the Government’s new disability benefit have failed Parkinson’s sufferers, causing them stress and anxiety which has made their symptoms worse, an MP has claimed.

Torfaen MP Nick Thomas-Symonds criticised Personal Independence Payments during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday.

The benefits which replace the Disability Living Allowance were introduced as part as wide ranging welfare reforms last year.

The basic rights of people with a learning disability are threatened by welfare cuts

‘I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society’ … Brian Rix, president of the Royal Mencap society. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Campaigners fought for more than 60 years so people with a learning disability can make their own choices in life and be part of mainstream society. However, I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society.

I have seen great strides since the 1950s, when I was advised to “put away and forget” my late daughter, Shelley, who had Down’s syndrome. However, expected £12bn cuts to social security, combined with huge reductions in funding for local government, and therefore social care, are causing fear and anxiety among the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK, and their families.

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