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Inverclyde Council on Disability, in conjunction with Inclusion Scotland, recently held a conference about the Government’s green paper proposals to reform the Welfare System for disabled people, specifically Incapacity Benefit and the help available for those wishing to get back into work.
Many disabled people are concerned about these proposed changes, and ICOD felt that it was important that those in Government hear directly from disabled people these concerns.
Speakers at the event included David Cairns MP, Deputy Secretary of State for Scotland, Gregg Chamming from the Department of Work and Pensions, who played a key role in drafting the proposed reforms, and also Dr Jim Ward, a local GP and Chair of the Local Health Care Co-operative.
In addition, the conference heard from Kathy McDade from ICOD and Bill Campbell from Inclusion Scotland, who both gave personal accounts of their experiences of being disabled and accessing employment.
The event also gave disabled people the chance to question the panel of speakers, and many came along to voice their concerns. Issues raised included the availability of other support (such as direct payments) to assist disabled people in employment, the criteria and assessment methods (and amount of form filling) that would be involved, and also the concern that the proposals may lead to a two-tier system of disabled people, with additional assistance only given to those deemed “able to work”, with others being “written off”. The issues raised on the day have helped us put together a response to the governments proposals.
ICOD would like to thank all those who attended, and will keep our members up to date on the progress of the reforms.
Inverclyde Council, at a recent meeting of their grants Committee, awarded a grant of £13,110 to Inverclyde Council on Disability to help it continue to run its popular Shopmobility service.
Gordon Hendry, Treasurer of ICOD, said “The council grant is very welcome and will be used to help us maintain and insure our scooters, promote the service and keep in touch with our membership through our quarterly magazine Linkability”.
It’s nearly that time of year again when ICOD breathe a sigh of relief because Jim MacLeod is off on holiday! No but seriously, here are some handy hints to make sure your holiday goes as smoothly as possible....
As part of our ongoing programme of research into the needs of disabled people in Inverclyde, ICOD recently launched “Empathy NOT Sympathy II”. The publication was launched after our recent Full Council Meeting on the 23rd of March.
This new book is the outcome of survey information gathered by interviewing disabled people in the former SIP Areas of Greenock and follows on from “Empathy NOT Sympathy” , a survey of those in the former SIP areas of Port Glasgow.
Disabled people were asked about a variety of topics including: health services and care, benefits, education and employment, socialising and accessing their communities. ICOD hope that the information contained in this new document will help the decision-makers in our community to plan and provide better services for disabled people in Inverclyde.
ICOD will be distributing a number of free copies to local organisations, and also hopes to sell copies to universities and others with an interest in disability studies.
A group of students who have been learning sign language with ICOD since August last year are about to be put to the test as their exams in British Sign Language are coming up shortly.
The students from various voluntary sector projects are hoping to put their skills into practice and provide better communication with deaf customers when they use their services.
One of the students said, “it is great but hard work and your hands can get tired but it is worth earning”.
The exam, which takes approximately half an hour to complete, is recorded on video and reviewed at a later date to establish whether or not the students are displaying all the signs and words correctly.
They will know their results soon, so Fingers Crossed! or not as the case may be!
Last December and January a group of Shopmobility users and friends stood guard over a number of town centre dropped kerb locations. They were doing this to highlight the fact that these kerbs require to be kept clear to allow wheelchair users and others to access their town centres safely and easily.
ICOD has taken the matter to the Scottish Parliament’s Petitions Committee requesting it to ask Parliament to make it a Road Traffic Offence to block dropped kerbs.
Jim MacLeod, who attended the Committee in Dunfermline, said, “I am disappointed at not being given the chance to speak to the petition and am concerned that the matter may be lost sight of. The Committee has agreed to write to a number of interested parties, and I hope progress can be made, this is important for all disabled people in the country”.
The matter has been scheduled for reconsideration at the Petitions Committee on 14th June when hopefully it will receive the attention it deserves.
ICOD will be watching closely, and would ask motorists to consider the needs of disabled people and others and Don’t Block our Way by parking across dropped kerbs.
From time to time our members contact us with disability/mobility equipment for sale, if you would like us to publicise your equipment please contact us.
Welcome to the latest update of Shopmobility, it’s been a busy few months, and we’re proud to announce that we have now registered our 600th Service User, with membership numbers continuing to climb. A big thank you to all of our service users for their continued support of our service.
Inverclyde Shopmobility was proud to be invited along to view the new disabled facilities at Cappielow Park. Enjoying the day was lifelong Morton fan Mr Jim Mitchell, a lifelong Morton fan went along to enjoy the match on our Morton sponsored scooter, and also met Douglas Rae, Chairman of Morton Football Club.
Morton helps to Support Shopmobility and if you know of any organisation that would be willing to “care” for one of our scooters please give us a call on 01475 732700. Our other carers include; Inverclyde Taxis, ABC Central, Cullens Motors, The Freemasons of Renfrewshire West, St Andrews Garage, Oak Mall, Cardwell Garden Centre, Morrisons and Welsh Walker.
Some of our service users, family and friends have enjoyed another ramble, this time organised by our newly formed social group. This time we rambled from the East Promenade at Largs, all the way out to Pencil Point, despite the weather conditions, everyone commented on the enjoyable time, stopping for lunch in some of the eateries in Largs. More rambles and social events will be organised by the Social Group, anyone wishing to participate in future events can call the office on 01475 732700.
Don’t forget some of the other services Shopmobility can provide, including our new Visual Impairment Service, which can assist those with Visual Impairments to access shopping and local services within our community. Call us on 732600 for more details.