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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2011): Services for the disabled - UK

Council's plans to cut care for disabled ruled unlawful

H. Carter

The Guardian, May 20th 2011, p. 5

Birmingham City Council, the largest UK local authority, acted unlawfully over a decision to cut care for disabled people, the high court ruled. The judgement, involving four severely disabled people who brought a test case against the council, will have widespread implications for other local authorities. The Tory-Liberal Democrat authority in Birmingham had proposed the cuts as part of a plan to save 212m by limiting council-funded social care to those assessed as being in critical need. But the judge described the move as potentially devastating and found that it did not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

Cuts protests begin in courts and on the streets

K. McVeigh

The Guardian, May 10th 2011, p. 10+11

Disabled people are using the courts to challenge multi-million pound spending cuts which they say will hit them hardest. They have launched a number of legal actions against council plans to slash support services after cuts in government's funding.

Disabled marchers turn out in thousands for benefits protest

K. McVeigh

The Guardian, May 12th 2011, p. 10

Waving placards with slogans such as 'I didn't choose to be disabled' and 'Easy target: cuts to disabled disgraceful' thousands of people took to the streets of Westminster to protest at the government's spending cuts and benefit reforms.

Disability and social change: private lives and public policies

S. Shah and M. Priestley

Bristol: Policy Press, 2011

Combining critical policy analysis with biographical accounts, this book provides a socio-historical account of the changing treatment of disabled people in Britain from the 1940s to the present day. It examines how public policies and institutions influenced the kinds of life choices and chances that were available, while private resources were significant in resisting and challenging policy. The book asks whether life has really changed for disabled people and shows the value of using biographical methods in new and critical ways to examine social and historical change over time.

Fifth of authorities cut help for deaf schoolchildren

J. Vasagar

The Guardian, May 10th 2011, p. 10

Almost one in five councils in England have cut services for deaf children, some by scrapping posts for specialist teachers and cutting budgets for radio aids, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Government's response to the consultation on Disability Living Allowance reform

Department for Work and Pensions

London: TSO, 2011 (Cm 8051)

The Coalition Government is committed to reforming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to create a new benefit - Personal Independence Payment. The new benefit that will be simpler to administer and easier to understand and will support disabled people who face the greatest challenges to remaining independent and leading full, active lives. On 6 December 2010, the Government published Disability Living Allowance reform (Cm 7984) which set out the reform proposals and sought people's views. The consultation period closed on 18 February 2011. This document outlines the responses received, from both individuals and organisations, and provides further information regarding the replacement of DLA and the introduction of Personal Independence Payment for people of working age (16-64) from 2013/14. More than 5,500 responses to the consultation were received, including nearly 5,000 responses from individuals. It was clear from the responses received that some reform of DLA was welcomed. Both individuals and organisations pointed to the confusing nature of the benefit and inconsistent decision making. However, people are anxious to understand how these reforms will be carried out.

Personalised Transition: a collaborative approach to funding individual budgets for young disabled people with complex needs leaving school

A. Cowen, P. Murray and S. Duffy

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.19, Apr. 2011, p. 30-36

This new model of personalised transition for young disabled school leavers with complex needs was developed by the governors and head teacher at Talbot Specialist School in partnership with Sheffield City Council and NHS Sheffield. It brings together funding from health, social care and education to support the young people as they move into adulthood and allows them and their families to be in control of support planning and organising their lives beyond school. The model is now in use in five other local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber.

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