This is the 8th annual Blogging against Disablism Day but I’ve never participated before. I’m not good at these ‘special days’. I write when I want to, when I have something to say and, above all, when I can. Campaigning, advising, writing briefings, attending meetings, maintaining websites, ill-health, family responsibilities etc all take their toll, which is why I don’t blog very often.
So I was going to leave it to others to mark this day… until I watched a set of videos recently produced by Scope for their Britain Cares campaign.
Then I remembered just how angry I am about the state of social care in Britain today.
I’m angry that when social care is mentioned in the media, the focus is always on older people.
I’m angry that the Government appears to prioritise the preservation of older people’s assets above ensuring everyone gets the support they need to live independently with a good quality of life.
I’m angry that Ministers and MP’s don’t appear to understand the importance of disabled people’s human rights or what we mean by the term “independent living”.
I’m angry that the judge in the judicial review hearing on the closure of the Independent Living Fund wasn’t prepared to acknowledge the dishonest nature of the so-called consultation and decide against the Government.
I’m angry that severely disabled people, who’ve spent years working (many as entrepreneurs), employing personal assistants to enable them to contribute to society, proving each day that disability doesn’t have to mean dependence and inability, are now fearful of a future eating sandwiches, lying in bed in incontinence pads.
And I’m angry that I can’t change any of these things, any more than I can change the hardship and poverty many disabled people will be facing as a result of welfare “reform”.
But I’ve shared Scope’s videos on Twitter and Facebook – and I want all politicians, from all parties, to watch these videos and understand that independence, inclusion and equality cost money. Above all, however, I want our politicians to accept that the value of independent living – to disabled people and to an inclusive society – will always be greater than the cost.