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Re: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)

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  • Maria Barile
    Lyn In Quebec, Canada equipment s are paid for by various programs, how one becomes disabled is a primary criteria for most equipment s for people with
    Message 1 of 6 , May 1, 2001
      Lyn
      In Quebec, Canada equipment's are paid for by various programs, how one
      becomes disabled is a primary criteria for most equipment's for people with
      physical disabilities, another criteria is the activities one is engage in
      students equipment's (most dealing with academic are paid for my education
      minister- one bad thing is that they stress degree of impairments ex. if you
      are hearing impaired you can have an fm system if you have a hearing loss of
      45+ dB. etc., if you work and you are qualify a different department will
      pay for some equipment. If you are a welfare recipient you get minimum but
      you are on a waiting list for other stuff. ex a friend of mine (
      quadriplegic over 50 years old has waited 4 years for adaptation to his
      home. I must admit we have a good system for some things-not without
      problem our programs are not transferable if one moves to another part of
      Canada, in some cases, like home care it is not transferable in other
      cities, or other part of the same city.
      Maria
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "L@M Dowling" <dowling@...>
      To: <disabilitystudies@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 2:02 AM
      Subject: RE: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)


      > hello - i am doing a study of equipment needs, especially costly items,
      and
      > looking at difficulties for a group of families from regional NSW,
      Australia
      > in acquiring necessary equipment. Of particular concern are difficulties
      > around acquiring prescribed wheelchairs for their children, hoists and
      other
      > expensive and technically sophisticated items of equipment. I am
      interested
      > in locating relevant information about equipment issues in other countries
      > as well as Australia. Many of the books talk in general terms about
      support
      > and I would be keen to know of any equipment studies. I'm also
      interested
      > in knowing how support for equipment is provided in various countries.
      Any
      > suggestions would be appreciated. I was interested in this item about
      > freezing electric-powered wheelchairs. Lyn Dowling
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: Keith Armstrong [mailto:keitharm@...]
      > Sent: Monday, 30 April 2001 5:52 AM
      > To: disabilitystudies@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)
      >
      >
      > Wheelchair funds need boost
      >
      > The Government has frozen funding for electric-powered indoor/outdoor
      > wheelchairs (EPIOCS) for three years, despite the service needing
      > nearly double the current grant, campaigners have claimed. Equipment
      > campaigns group Empower is lobbying the Government to allocate an
      > extra £7m a year to providing EPIOCs because no extra money has been
      > given to the scheme over the past few years. (Disability Now, April
      > 2001)
      >
      > Darling says change will bring better service
      >
      > Alistair Darling has said that wide ranging reforms to the Department
      > of Social Security mean a better service to the public and more money
      > available for the Government's priorities --families and pensioners.
      > Big changes in the way the Department is run has meant more staff and
      > resources for the front line, delivering the right money to the right
      > people as quickly as possible. The reforms are highlighted in a new
      > DSS Departmental Report which has been published recently. (Department
      > of Social Security Press Release, 3013/2001)
      >
      > Benefits boosts take effect
      >
      > Pensioners, disabled people and carers are set to benefit from a range
      > of inflation-busting benefit increases coming into effect from 1st
      > April 2001. The basic state pension rises by £5 a week, while the
      > Government's minimum income guarantee means that all pensioners should
      > receive at least £92.15 a week, or £1 21.95 for couples. The weekly
      > carer premium is increasing by £1 0 to £24.40 - an increase of more
      > than 70% whilst there is a package of measures for disabled people
      > including a £7.40 a week increase in the disabled child premium.
      > (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 8/412001)
      >
      > Benefit blow
      >
      > New cuts to disability benefits came into effect at the beginning of
      > April, just weeks after the Government's budget promise of extra cash
      > for working disabled people. From April, new Incapacity Benefit ([B)
      > claimants with a personal pension of more than £85 a week will lose 50
      > pence for every pound of pension they receive above the £85 threshold.
      > New claimants who have not paid National Insurance contributions in
      > the previous three years will no longer be able to claim IB. The
      > changes are the result of the controversial Welfare Reform and
      > Pensions Act. (Disability Now, April 2001)
      >
      > Legal Issues
      >
      > Court ruling on compensation hits disabled
      >
      > Thousands of the most severely disabled people are likely to lose
      > their Income Support after a Court of Appeal ruling yesterday that was
      > condemned by disabled rights campaigners. The judges agreed that the
      > money awarded to the victims of accidents to pay for their lifelong
      > care should be regarded as income, thus making them ineligible for
      > state benefits. Anyone receiving more than £8,000 a year from their
      > compensation claims could now have their Income Support, and with it
      > their Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and other benefits stopped.
      > (Times, 10/412001)
      >
      > Legal Issues
      >
      > Defiant disabled driver faces jail
      >
      > A motorist with no arms is facing jail for defying a court order
      > banning him from driving. Mike Hamill, who drives his automatic Volvo
      > with one foot on the wheel and one on the accelerator, said he drove
      > on because the ban was "degrading, inhumane and subjected me to utter
      > humiliation". He lost his arms in 1991 and taught himself how to
      > steer his car with his left foot, using his right to control the
      > pedals. Mr Hamill drove for eight years without a hitch until a
      > neighbour reported him to police. He now faces six months in jail for
      > defying the ban. (Daily Telegraph, 514/2001)
      >
      > Judge's warning over courts' treatment of disabled people
      >
      > A judge known for promoting the rights of disabled people told a
      > conference that more must be done to ensure justice for people with
      > all types of disabilities. District judge Gordon Ashton, who is a
      > trustee of several disability charities and has a son with severe
      > learning difficulties, warned that courts could find themselves in
      > breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 if they did not
      > improve the services they offer. (Community Care, 5th April 2001)
      >
      >
      >
      > Scope rethinks service cuts
      >
      > Scope has backtracked on plans to axe services to disabled adults in
      > the community through its field workers. An angry response from
      > service users, staff and members has led to a rethink and Scope has
      > called meetings to find alternative ways forward. The charity had
      > intended to concentrate on a new fieldwork service for children with
      > cerebral palsy. This was part of its new 'vision' focusing on
      > children, education, employment for disabled people and daily living
      > for adults. (Disability Now, April 2001)
      >
      > Learning Difficulties/Education
      >
      > Schools blamed for failing dyslexic pupils
      >
      > Many children with dyslexia are denied the opportunity to sit exams in
      > which they could excel, according to a survey of dyslexic pupils.
      > More than 70% of schools have no teachers qualified to teach dyslexic
      > pupils even though one in ten children has some form of dyslexia. The
      > British Dyslexia Association says that, despite growing awareness of
      > the condition its members report increasing instances of dyslexic
      > children being urged to stay at home "ill" on days when they are due
      > to take the Government's Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). (Times,
      > 9/412001)
      >
      > Learning Difficulties/Disabled Children/Discrimination
      >
      > Down's children 'denied heart ops by biased doctors'
      >
      > An inquiry has found that doctors at a leading heart hospital
      > discriminated against children by refusing them operations. Parents
      > whose offspring had Down's syndrome were told frequently by the Royal
      > Brompton Hospital, London, that the risks of heart surgery were not
      > worthwhile, and that the children's condition meant extra pressure on
      > those carers looking after the children into adulthood. The inquiry
      > team accepts that doctors may not have been intentionally
      > discriminatory over treatment but concludes "that was, in our opinion,
      > the effect of their approach". (Guardian, 21412001)
      >
      > Parents protest at 'sham' inquiry into treatment of Down's children
      >
      > A patients' pressure group has angrily dismissed as a "sham" an
      > inquiry report that reveals one of Britain's leading hospitals
      > discriminated against children with Down's syndrome. The 18-month
      > independent study says that some doctors at the Royal Brompton
      > Hospital discriminated against disabled children by considering the
      > future demands placed on their parents before deciding on a course of
      > treatment. (independent, 21412001)
      >
      > 'Place PTs on standby for Down's children'
      >
      > An independent inquiry into the treatment of Down's syndrome children
      > has called for physiotherapists to be made available on hospital wards
      > for those who sustain brain damage as a result of heart operations.
      > The report into the treatment of children with Down's at the Royal
      > Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust found that there were very few
      > dedicated children's rehabilitation services and that the trust did
      > little to help families gain access to them. (Therapy Weekly,
      > 5/412001)
      >
      > Down's syndrome inquiry puts trusts on discrimination alert
      >
      > All trusts providing paediatric cardiac surgery have been told to
      > consider how to implement 1 1 9 recommendations made by the
      > independent inquiries into services at the Royal Brompton Hospital and
      > Harefield Hospital. The inquiry's report concluded that there was no
      > evidence that the hospitals discriminated against children with Down's
      > syndrome 'in access to treatment, but that failures to provide
      > families with a 'balanced view' of their options meant that such
      > children were 'less favoured'. (Health Service Journal, 514/2001)
      >
      > 1 Mental Heal
      >
      > Ruling could free dozens of mentally ill offenders
      >
      > The appeal court has ruled that key sections of the mental health laws
      > of England and Wales are incompatible with human rights. The landmark
      > judgement could lead to the release of dozens of mentally disordered
      > offenders from Broadmoor and other high security hospitals in the UK.
      > Three appeal court judges, led by the Master of the Rolls, Lord
      > Phillips, declared that two sections of the Mental Health Act 1983
      > were incompatible with the European convention on human rights.
      > (Guardian, 291312001) See item N2001/17117
      >
      > Suicides 'avoidable'
      >
      > Around 1,300 suicides by people with mental health problems could have
      > been prevented during the last five years through improved NHS care.
      > A confidential report, by Professor Louis Appleby of Manchester
      > University, found that 17% of suicides by psychiatric patients were
      > preventable. It recommends that collapsible frames on showers and
      > beds in wards should be removed to prevent people from hanging
      > themselves. It also calls for better follow-up of people leaving
      > hospital. (Disability Now, April 2001)
      >
      > Concerns over deaths of psychiatric clients
      >
      > New research from the Mental Health Act Commission has highlighted the
      > number of deaths of psychiatric patients during and after detention
      > under mental health legislation. The study, which closely follows the
      > publication of a report by the National Confidential Inquiry into
      > Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, looked at the
      > cases of 1,471 people
      >
      > who died between 1 997 and 2000. More than 1,200 deaths were from
      > natural causes - three quarters of which were of people over 65.
      > (Community Care, 5t'-1 lt' April 2001)
      >
      > Mental Health/Law Report
      >
      > Mental health provisions incompatible with convention on human rights
      >
      > The Court of Appeal has granted a declaration sought by an applicant
      > that sections 72 and 73 of the Mental Health Act 1983 were
      > incompatible with article 5 of the European Convention on Human
      > Rights. This did not, however, mean that article 5 required that a
      > patient be discharged whenever any of the criteria in section 3 of the
      > Act could not be demonstrated on the balance of probability.
      > (independent, 3/4/2001)
      >
      > Community Care 1 Fewer people gain care
      >
      > Local authorities are providing more intensive home care services to a
      > smaller number of users rather than meeting the community care ideal
      > of caring for more people. Department of Health statistics for a week
      > in September 2000 show an estimated 2.8 million hours were provided to
      > about 398,000 households, comprising 415,000 clients. While the
      > number of hours increased by 4 per cent from 1999, the number of
      > households receiving home help or home care fell by 6 per cent,
      > continuing the trend of previous years. (Community Care, 5th April,
      > 2001)
      >
      > 1 Community Care / Charging
      >
      > Mayor backs disabled Londoners' rights to free home care
      >
      > Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has told the Government its
      > proposals on home care will severely impact on disabled and vulnerable
      > Londoners. Mr Livingstone has made a submission to the Department of
      > Health's consultation 'Fairer charging policies for home
      >
      > care and other non-residential services'. The submission addresses a
      > number of shortcomings in the Department of Health's proposals.
      > (www.london.gov.uk, 6/412001)
      >
      > Employment
      >
      > New measures will help job hunters
      >
      > A new work incentive designed to help job hunters by cutting the red
      > tape and barriers they face is to be brought forward. 'Rapid 1
      > Reclaim' is designed to tackle one of the most common complaints from
      > those wanting to take up temporary work - the fear that they will face
      > problems if they re-claim benefit after the job has ended. Now it's
      > introduction is being fast tracked and it will be available from
      > October this year. (Department of Social Security Press Release,
      > 21412001)
      >
      > Employment/Discrimination
      >
      > Dead man wins case over time off for treatment
      >
      > A man who was sacked while on kidney dialysis has won a legal battle
      > to prove he was unfairly dismissed - two years after his death. The
      > Employment Tribunal ruling in favour of Simon Haddon is thought to be
      > the first successful unfair dismissal claim on behalf of a deceased
      > person. Mr Haddon's mother, Beverley, said the posthumous ruling had
      > vindicated her son's belief that he was sacked from his job with a
      > telecommunications company for being ill. (Independent, 30/312001)
      >
      > Disability Discrimination Act
      >
      > Key areas ignored
      >
      > Campaigners have warned that key issues have been either rejected or
      > put off by the Government in plans to improve the Disability
      > Discrimination Act (DDA). In it's response to the recommendations of
      > the Disability Rights Taskforce which reported in 1999, the Government
      > has made some major changes.
      >
      > These include extending the DDA to cover police and fire-fighters,
      > counting cancer and HIV as disabilities from diagnosis, and requiring
      > firms with fewer than 15 employees to comply with the DDA from 2004.
      > (Disability Now, April 2001)
      >
      >
      >
      > Car wait 'appalling'
      >
      > Disabled people will still have to wait up to three years for an
      > adapted car when the waiting list for a government fund that pays for
      > adaptations reopens. Motability, the charity which leases cars to
      > disabled people, claims the Government is not putting enough money
      > into the Mobility Equipment Fund (MEF). The fund, which has been
      > closed for seven months, pays for adaptations for people with severe
      > disabilities who lease a car from Motability. (Disability Now, April
      > 2001)
      >
      > London's taxi cheer
      >
      > Disabled people living in London have successfully campaigned for a
      > £5m boost to the Taxicard scheme that subsidises the cost of journeys
      > in cabs. The money agreed for the Greater London Authority (GLA)
      > budget in February will mean an end to the current system of boroughs
      > deciding who is eligible and how much to charge. This has led to
      > variation, with disabled people in Brent paying twice as much as
      > people in most other boroughs. Hundreds of members of DART, which
      > campaigns for accessible public transport in the capital, wrote to
      > members of the GLA asking them to support the budget. (Disability Now,
      > April 2001)
      >
      > Technology
      >
      > Hearing aid users face VAT burden
      >
      > The government is deciding whether to charge full VAT for the supply
      > of private hearing aids, which can already cost £2,500. This follows
      > a European Court decision in 1999 which means that VAT can be charged
      > on the service involved in supplying products as well as the
      >
      > product itself. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)
      > warned that this could affect 180,000 people who buy hearing aids
      > privately every year. (Disability Now, April 2001)
      >
      > 1 Medical Is
      >
      > DNR guidelines
      >
      > The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) has welcomed new guidelines on
      > resuscitation. Issued by the British Medical Association and the
      > Royal College of Nursing, the guidelines call on doctors to discuss
      > patients' wishes, after revelations that doctors were putting "do not
      > resuscitate" (DNR) notices on disabled patients' notes without them or
      > their family knowing. DRC chairman Bert Massie said.. "This is often
      > because medical professionals make negative assumptions about disabled
      > people's quality of life." (Disability Now, April 2001) NB No further
      > information in item
      >
      > 1 Education
      > Strong case for special schools
      >
      > A former government education adviser has said that disabled pupils
      > could be harmed by an overemphasis on mainstream education. Dr John
      > Marks said children with some conditions like autism and Down's
      > syndrome might benefit more from special school education, and
      > criticised the "inclusion or else" message in the Special Educational
      > Needs and Disability Bill currently being debated by MPs. He added
      > that different disabilities should be put into categories with
      > recommendations for the most suitable type of education. (Disability
      > Now, April 2001)
      >
      > 1 Politics
      >
      > Charity's anger at census
      >
      > The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) has accused census
      > organisers of being discriminatory for refusing to accept the
      > distribution of census forms in large print, Braille, tape or by
      > e-mail. The organisation is
      >
      > furious that blind and partially sighted people will be unable to
      > complete their forms independently when the next UK census takes place
      > on 29'@ April 2001. According to the charity, many people with vision
      > problems are dissatisfied at the prospect of census organisers going
      > into their homes to help them complete the form, because they would
      > much prefer the right to fill it in independently. A spokesperson
      > said "People with vision problems have the right to fill in such a
      > confidential form in privacy." (Community Care, 5t'- 1 llh April 2001)
      > NB No further information in item.
      >
      > Features
      >
      > Mental Health
      >
      > Stark warning on mental health
      >
      > The World Health Organisation has warned that many countries will be
      > unable to cope with a predicted boom in mental illness over the next
      > decade. A report, which was released to coincide with World Mental
      > Health Day, has shown that many countries have no mental health policy
      > at all. A World Health
      > Organisation survey carried out among its 191 member countries said
      > mental health provision was severely under resourced because of
      > stigma, apathy and neglect.
      > (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 7/412001)
      >
      > £30m to revamp mental health wards
      >
      > A £30m scheme to modernise hospital wards for the mentally ill in
      > England has been announced by the Government. Health minister John
      > Hutton said the two-year investment programme would ensure better
      > wards and conditions for psychiatric patients and an end to mixed-sex
      > wards. The government admitted that many psychiatric wards were in a
      > poor state of repair and desperately in need of a revamp. They said
      > some wards were not even designed to provide patients with the basic
      > safety, privacy and dignity standards. (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 614/2001)
      >
      > Break the bonds of mental health
      >
      > World Health Day 2001 on 7th April had a special focus on mental
      > health. There is little doubt mental health is moving rapidly up the
      > agenda on several fronts. Media coverage of mental health grows
      > apace, albeit oscillating between community care failures, "mad axeman
      > on the loose" and sympathetic lifestyle features on stress, and the
      > national service framework for mental health have reinforced mental
      > health as a priority area.
      > (www.societyguardian.co.uk, 61412001)
      >
      > Healthy surfing
      >
      > A group of occupational therapists working in mental health have been
      > exploring the Internet to discover the standard of information
      > available to those people seeking advice for the first time on one of
      > the most common problems - depression. As most people who experience
      > depression do not seek professional treatment, the Internet can
      > provide instant resources,. for some and encourage others to access
      > more formal help. In the case of mental illness, the Internet is a
      > particularly useful medium for information because of the stigma that
      > still surrounds the problem. (Therapy Weekly, 51412001)
      >
      >
      >
      > Natural cannabis 'better than extracts'
      >
      > A scientist has said that medicines containing every ingredient of
      > cannabis might work better than chemical extracts. Dr Williamson from
      > the London School of Pharmacy said she had found that using the whole
      > herb was as effective as an extract at tackling MS symptoms such as
      > spasticity, but worked faster. Much work has already been carried out
      > on a cannabis ingredient, or cannabinoid, called THC, but Dr
      > Williamson said she wanted trials on the whole plant extended.
      > (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 5/412001)
      >
      > Learning Difficulties
      >
      > Local branches to break away from leading charity
      >
      > The disability charity, Mencap, is facing a grassroots rebellion after
      > two of its local branches announced they are to pull out of the
      > organisation in protest at its "outdated" approach. Two London Mencap
      > branches have decided to change their name to dissociate themselves
      > from the national charity. Islington and Kensington & Chelsea local
      > branches say they no longer want a name linked to mental handicap,
      > which they say is derogatory and outdated. (www.societyguardian.co.uk,
      > 29/3/2001)
      >
      >
      > Scotland puts learning disabilities
      > centre stage
      >
      > Services for people with learning difficulties in Scotland have taken
      > a giant leap forward with plans to set up a Scottish development
      > centre for learning difficulties. A consortium of 13 organisations
      > has been awarded £1.5m over five years to develop the Glasgow-based
      > centre, which will be up and running by September to offer advice,
      > training and support to agencies, professionals and people with
      > learning disabilities.
      > kwww.societyguardian.co.uk, 29/312001)
      >
      > Community Care
      >
      > Councils make headway in care trusts row
      >
      > Local authorities are claiming a victory in their bid to stop the NHS
      > taking over community services, following government concessions on
      > care trust proposals. The Local Government Association (LGA) says
      > amendments to the health and social care bill, allowing councils to
      > nominate local trust board members, are "very positive". The move
      > should assure local authorities a voice in the way adult care services
      > are delivered in the future. (www.societyguardian.co.uk, 5/412001)
      >
      >
      >
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    • dowling
      Thanks Maria. This is very interesting and I would like to hear more. [Here we have states providing some equipment through Health Departments and then a
      Message 2 of 6 , May 2, 2001
        Thanks Maria. This is very interesting and I would like to hear more. [Here
        we have states providing some equipment through Health Departments and then
        a multitude of other agencies which provide some things. Families often
        have to do the 'charity rounds' to get prescribed equipment and its often
        very exhausting. The families I work with hate this process and things have
        got especially tough with our dollar making imported items, especially
        wheelchairs, just so expensive. The NSW government here is reviewing their
        system, and we thought that we might be able to gather data on the cost of
        equipment, the time it takes to acquire it and other difficulties, so that
        we could possibly influence the way policy here goes.] It would be good to
        be able to get some information about what goes on in other countries,
        especially the things that are good, so we could make some positive
        suggestions as we go.
        Lyn

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Maria Barile [mailto:mariab@...]
        Sent: Wednesday, 2 May 2001 6:50 AM
        To: disabilitystudies@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)


        Lyn
        In Quebec, Canada equipment's are paid for by various programs, how one
        becomes disabled is a primary criteria for most equipment's for people with
        physical disabilities, another criteria is the activities one is engage in
        students equipment's (most dealing with academic are paid for my education
        minister- one bad thing is that they stress degree of impairments ex. if you
        are hearing impaired you can have an fm system if you have a hearing loss of
        45+ dB. etc., if you work and you are qualify a different department will
        pay for some equipment. If you are a welfare recipient you get minimum but
        you are on a waiting list for other stuff. ex a friend of mine (
        quadriplegic over 50 years old has waited 4 years for adaptation to his
        home. I must admit we have a good system for some things-not without
        problem our programs are not transferable if one moves to another part of
        Canada, in some cases, like home care it is not transferable in other
        cities, or other part of the same city.
        Maria
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "L@M Dowling" <dowling@...>
        To: <disabilitystudies@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, April 30, 2001 2:02 AM
        Subject: RE: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)


        > hello - i am doing a study of equipment needs, especially costly items,
        and
        > looking at difficulties for a group of families from regional NSW,
        Australia
        > in acquiring necessary equipment. Of particular concern are difficulties
        > around acquiring prescribed wheelchairs for their children, hoists and
        other
        > expensive and technically sophisticated items of equipment. I am
        interested
        > in locating relevant information about equipment issues in other countries
        > as well as Australia. Many of the books talk in general terms about
        support
        > and I would be keen to know of any equipment studies. I'm also
        interested
        > in knowing how support for equipment is provided in various countries.
        Any
        > suggestions would be appreciated. I was interested in this item about
        > freezing electric-powered wheelchairs. Lyn Dowling
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Keith Armstrong [mailto:keitharm@...]
        > Sent: Monday, 30 April 2001 5:52 AM
        > To: disabilitystudies@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)
        >
        >
        > Wheelchair funds need boost
        >
        > The Government has frozen funding for electric-powered indoor/outdoor
        > wheelchairs (EPIOCS) for three years, despite the service needing
        > nearly double the current grant, campaigners have claimed. Equipment
        > campaigns group Empower is lobbying the Government to allocate an
        > extra £7m a year to providing EPIOCs because no extra money has been
        > given to the scheme over the past few years. (Disability Now, April
        > 2001)
        >
        > Darling says change will bring better service
        >
        > Alistair Darling has said that wide ranging reforms to the Department
        > of Social Security mean a better service to the public and more money
        > available for the Government's priorities --families and pensioners.
        > Big changes in the way the Department is run has meant more staff and
        > resources for the front line, delivering the right money to the right
        > people as quickly as possible. The reforms are highlighted in a new
        > DSS Departmental Report which has been published recently. (Department
        > of Social Security Press Release, 3013/2001)
        >
        > Benefits boosts take effect
        >
        > Pensioners, disabled people and carers are set to benefit from a range
        > of inflation-busting benefit increases coming into effect from 1st
        > April 2001. The basic state pension rises by £5 a week, while the
        > Government's minimum income guarantee means that all pensioners should
        > receive at least £92.15 a week, or £1 21.95 for couples. The weekly
        > carer premium is increasing by £1 0 to £24.40 - an increase of more
        > than 70% whilst there is a package of measures for disabled people
        > including a £7.40 a week increase in the disabled child premium.
        > (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 8/412001)
        >
        > Benefit blow
        >
        > New cuts to disability benefits came into effect at the beginning of
        > April, just weeks after the Government's budget promise of extra cash
        > for working disabled people. From April, new Incapacity Benefit ([B)
        > claimants with a personal pension of more than £85 a week will lose 50
        > pence for every pound of pension they receive above the £85 threshold.
        > New claimants who have not paid National Insurance contributions in
        > the previous three years will no longer be able to claim IB. The
        > changes are the result of the controversial Welfare Reform and
        > Pensions Act. (Disability Now, April 2001)
        >
        > Legal Issues
        >
        > Court ruling on compensation hits disabled
        >
        > Thousands of the most severely disabled people are likely to lose
        > their Income Support after a Court of Appeal ruling yesterday that was
        > condemned by disabled rights campaigners. The judges agreed that the
        > money awarded to the victims of accidents to pay for their lifelong
        > care should be regarded as income, thus making them ineligible for
        > state benefits. Anyone receiving more than £8,000 a year from their
        > compensation claims could now have their Income Support, and with it
        > their Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and other benefits stopped.
        > (Times, 10/412001)
        >
        > Legal Issues
        >
        > Defiant disabled driver faces jail
        >
        > A motorist with no arms is facing jail for defying a court order
        > banning him from driving. Mike Hamill, who drives his automatic Volvo
        > with one foot on the wheel and one on the accelerator, said he drove
        > on because the ban was "degrading, inhumane and subjected me to utter
        > humiliation". He lost his arms in 1991 and taught himself how to
        > steer his car with his left foot, using his right to control the
        > pedals. Mr Hamill drove for eight years without a hitch until a
        > neighbour reported him to police. He now faces six months in jail for
        > defying the ban. (Daily Telegraph, 514/2001)
        >
        > Judge's warning over courts' treatment of disabled people
        >
        > A judge known for promoting the rights of disabled people told a
        > conference that more must be done to ensure justice for people with
        > all types of disabilities. District judge Gordon Ashton, who is a
        > trustee of several disability charities and has a son with severe
        > learning difficulties, warned that courts could find themselves in
        > breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 if they did not
        > improve the services they offer. (Community Care, 5th April 2001)
        >
        >
        >
        > Scope rethinks service cuts
        >
        > Scope has backtracked on plans to axe services to disabled adults in
        > the community through its field workers. An angry response from
        > service users, staff and members has led to a rethink and Scope has
        > called meetings to find alternative ways forward. The charity had
        > intended to concentrate on a new fieldwork service for children with
        > cerebral palsy. This was part of its new 'vision' focusing on
        > children, education, employment for disabled people and daily living
        > for adults. (Disability Now, April 2001)
        >
        > Learning Difficulties/Education
        >
        > Schools blamed for failing dyslexic pupils
        >
        > Many children with dyslexia are denied the opportunity to sit exams in
        > which they could excel, according to a survey of dyslexic pupils.
        > More than 70% of schools have no teachers qualified to teach dyslexic
        > pupils even though one in ten children has some form of dyslexia. The
        > British Dyslexia Association says that, despite growing awareness of
        > the condition its members report increasing instances of dyslexic
        > children being urged to stay at home "ill" on days when they are due
        > to take the Government's Standard Assessment Tests (SATS). (Times,
        > 9/412001)
        >
        > Learning Difficulties/Disabled Children/Discrimination
        >
        > Down's children 'denied heart ops by biased doctors'
        >
        > An inquiry has found that doctors at a leading heart hospital
        > discriminated against children by refusing them operations. Parents
        > whose offspring had Down's syndrome were told frequently by the Royal
        > Brompton Hospital, London, that the risks of heart surgery were not
        > worthwhile, and that the children's condition meant extra pressure on
        > those carers looking after the children into adulthood. The inquiry
        > team accepts that doctors may not have been intentionally
        > discriminatory over treatment but concludes "that was, in our opinion,
        > the effect of their approach". (Guardian, 21412001)
        >
        > Parents protest at 'sham' inquiry into treatment of Down's children
        >
        > A patients' pressure group has angrily dismissed as a "sham" an
        > inquiry report that reveals one of Britain's leading hospitals
        > discriminated against children with Down's syndrome. The 18-month
        > independent study says that some doctors at the Royal Brompton
        > Hospital discriminated against disabled children by considering the
        > future demands placed on their parents before deciding on a course of
        > treatment. (independent, 21412001)
        >
        > 'Place PTs on standby for Down's children'
        >
        > An independent inquiry into the treatment of Down's syndrome children
        > has called for physiotherapists to be made available on hospital wards
        > for those who sustain brain damage as a result of heart operations.
        > The report into the treatment of children with Down's at the Royal
        > Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust found that there were very few
        > dedicated children's rehabilitation services and that the trust did
        > little to help families gain access to them. (Therapy Weekly,
        > 5/412001)
        >
        > Down's syndrome inquiry puts trusts on discrimination alert
        >
        > All trusts providing paediatric cardiac surgery have been told to
        > consider how to implement 1 1 9 recommendations made by the
        > independent inquiries into services at the Royal Brompton Hospital and
        > Harefield Hospital. The inquiry's report concluded that there was no
        > evidence that the hospitals discriminated against children with Down's
        > syndrome 'in access to treatment, but that failures to provide
        > families with a 'balanced view' of their options meant that such
        > children were 'less favoured'. (Health Service Journal, 514/2001)
        >
        > 1 Mental Heal
        >
        > Ruling could free dozens of mentally ill offenders
        >
        > The appeal court has ruled that key sections of the mental health laws
        > of England and Wales are incompatible with human rights. The landmark
        > judgement could lead to the release of dozens of mentally disordered
        > offenders from Broadmoor and other high security hospitals in the UK.
        > Three appeal court judges, led by the Master of the Rolls, Lord
        > Phillips, declared that two sections of the Mental Health Act 1983
        > were incompatible with the European convention on human rights.
        > (Guardian, 291312001) See item N2001/17117
        >
        > Suicides 'avoidable'
        >
        > Around 1,300 suicides by people with mental health problems could have
        > been prevented during the last five years through improved NHS care.
        > A confidential report, by Professor Louis Appleby of Manchester
        > University, found that 17% of suicides by psychiatric patients were
        > preventable. It recommends that collapsible frames on showers and
        > beds in wards should be removed to prevent people from hanging
        > themselves. It also calls for better follow-up of people leaving
        > hospital. (Disability Now, April 2001)
        >
        > Concerns over deaths of psychiatric clients
        >
        > New research from the Mental Health Act Commission has highlighted the
        > number of deaths of psychiatric patients during and after detention
        > under mental health legislation. The study, which closely follows the
        > publication of a report by the National Confidential Inquiry into
        > Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness, looked at the
        > cases of 1,471 people
        >
        > who died between 1 997 and 2000. More than 1,200 deaths were from
        > natural causes - three quarters of which were of people over 65.
        > (Community Care, 5t'-1 lt' April 2001)
        >
        > Mental Health/Law Report
        >
        > Mental health provisions incompatible with convention on human rights
        >
        > The Court of Appeal has granted a declaration sought by an applicant
        > that sections 72 and 73 of the Mental Health Act 1983 were
        > incompatible with article 5 of the European Convention on Human
        > Rights. This did not, however, mean that article 5 required that a
        > patient be discharged whenever any of the criteria in section 3 of the
        > Act could not be demonstrated on the balance of probability.
        > (independent, 3/4/2001)
        >
        > Community Care 1 Fewer people gain care
        >
        > Local authorities are providing more intensive home care services to a
        > smaller number of users rather than meeting the community care ideal
        > of caring for more people. Department of Health statistics for a week
        > in September 2000 show an estimated 2.8 million hours were provided to
        > about 398,000 households, comprising 415,000 clients. While the
        > number of hours increased by 4 per cent from 1999, the number of
        > households receiving home help or home care fell by 6 per cent,
        > continuing the trend of previous years. (Community Care, 5th April,
        > 2001)
        >
        > 1 Community Care / Charging
        >
        > Mayor backs disabled Londoners' rights to free home care
        >
        > Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has told the Government its
        > proposals on home care will severely impact on disabled and vulnerable
        > Londoners. Mr Livingstone has made a submission to the Department of
        > Health's consultation 'Fairer charging policies for home
        >
        > care and other non-residential services'. The submission addresses a
        > number of shortcomings in the Department of Health's proposals.
        > (www.london.gov.uk, 6/412001)
        >
        > Employment
        >
        > New measures will help job hunters
        >
        > A new work incentive designed to help job hunters by cutting the red
        > tape and barriers they face is to be brought forward. 'Rapid 1
        > Reclaim' is designed to tackle one of the most common complaints from
        > those wanting to take up temporary work - the fear that they will face
        > problems if they re-claim benefit after the job has ended. Now it's
        > introduction is being fast tracked and it will be available from
        > October this year. (Department of Social Security Press Release,
        > 21412001)
        >
        > Employment/Discrimination
        >
        > Dead man wins case over time off for treatment
        >
        > A man who was sacked while on kidney dialysis has won a legal battle
        > to prove he was unfairly dismissed - two years after his death. The
        > Employment Tribunal ruling in favour of Simon Haddon is thought to be
        > the first successful unfair dismissal claim on behalf of a deceased
        > person. Mr Haddon's mother, Beverley, said the posthumous ruling had
        > vindicated her son's belief that he was sacked from his job with a
        > telecommunications company for being ill. (Independent, 30/312001)
        >
        > Disability Discrimination Act
        >
        > Key areas ignored
        >
        > Campaigners have warned that key issues have been either rejected or
        > put off by the Government in plans to improve the Disability
        > Discrimination Act (DDA). In it's response to the recommendations of
        > the Disability Rights Taskforce which reported in 1999, the Government
        > has made some major changes.
        >
        > These include extending the DDA to cover police and fire-fighters,
        > counting cancer and HIV as disabilities from diagnosis, and requiring
        > firms with fewer than 15 employees to comply with the DDA from 2004.
        > (Disability Now, April 2001)
        >
        >
        >
        > Car wait 'appalling'
        >
        > Disabled people will still have to wait up to three years for an
        > adapted car when the waiting list for a government fund that pays for
        > adaptations reopens. Motability, the charity which leases cars to
        > disabled people, claims the Government is not putting enough money
        > into the Mobility Equipment Fund (MEF). The fund, which has been
        > closed for seven months, pays for adaptations for people with severe
        > disabilities who lease a car from Motability. (Disability Now, April
        > 2001)
        >
        > London's taxi cheer
        >
        > Disabled people living in London have successfully campaigned for a
        > £5m boost to the Taxicard scheme that subsidises the cost of journeys
        > in cabs. The money agreed for the Greater London Authority (GLA)
        > budget in February will mean an end to the current system of boroughs
        > deciding who is eligible and how much to charge. This has led to
        > variation, with disabled people in Brent paying twice as much as
        > people in most other boroughs. Hundreds of members of DART, which
        > campaigns for accessible public transport in the capital, wrote to
        > members of the GLA asking them to support the budget. (Disability Now,
        > April 2001)
        >
        > Technology
        >
        > Hearing aid users face VAT burden
        >
        > The government is deciding whether to charge full VAT for the supply
        > of private hearing aids, which can already cost £2,500. This follows
        > a European Court decision in 1999 which means that VAT can be charged
        > on the service involved in supplying products as well as the
        >
        > product itself. The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)
        > warned that this could affect 180,000 people who buy hearing aids
        > privately every year. (Disability Now, April 2001)
        >
        > 1 Medical Is
        >
        > DNR guidelines
        >
        > The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) has welcomed new guidelines on
        > resuscitation. Issued by the British Medical Association and the
        > Royal College of Nursing, the guidelines call on doctors to discuss
        > patients' wishes, after revelations that doctors were putting "do not
        > resuscitate" (DNR) notices on disabled patients' notes without them or
        > their family knowing. DRC chairman Bert Massie said.. "This is often
        > because medical professionals make negative assumptions about disabled
        > people's quality of life." (Disability Now, April 2001) NB No further
        > information in item
        >
        > 1 Education
        > Strong case for special schools
        >
        > A former government education adviser has said that disabled pupils
        > could be harmed by an overemphasis on mainstream education. Dr John
        > Marks said children with some conditions like autism and Down's
        > syndrome might benefit more from special school education, and
        > criticised the "inclusion or else" message in the Special Educational
        > Needs and Disability Bill currently being debated by MPs. He added
        > that different disabilities should be put into categories with
        > recommendations for the most suitable type of education. (Disability
        > Now, April 2001)
        >
        > 1 Politics
        >
        > Charity's anger at census
        >
        > The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) has accused census
        > organisers of being discriminatory for refusing to accept the
        > distribution of census forms in large print, Braille, tape or by
        > e-mail. The organisation is
        >
        > furious that blind and partially sighted people will be unable to
        > complete their forms independently when the next UK census takes place
        > on 29'@ April 2001. According to the charity, many people with vision
        > problems are dissatisfied at the prospect of census organisers going
        > into their homes to help them complete the form, because they would
        > much prefer the right to fill it in independently. A spokesperson
        > said "People with vision problems have the right to fill in such a
        > confidential form in privacy." (Community Care, 5t'- 1 llh April 2001)
        > NB No further information in item.
        >
        > Features
        >
        > Mental Health
        >
        > Stark warning on mental health
        >
        > The World Health Organisation has warned that many countries will be
        > unable to cope with a predicted boom in mental illness over the next
        > decade. A report, which was released to coincide with World Mental
        > Health Day, has shown that many countries have no mental health policy
        > at all. A World Health
        > Organisation survey carried out among its 191 member countries said
        > mental health provision was severely under resourced because of
        > stigma, apathy and neglect.
        > (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 7/412001)
        >
        > £30m to revamp mental health wards
        >
        > A £30m scheme to modernise hospital wards for the mentally ill in
        > England has been announced by the Government. Health minister John
        > Hutton said the two-year investment programme would ensure better
        > wards and conditions for psychiatric patients and an end to mixed-sex
        > wards. The government admitted that many psychiatric wards were in a
        > poor state of repair and desperately in need of a revamp. They said
        > some wards were not even designed to provide patients with the basic
        > safety, privacy and dignity standards. (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 614/2001)
        >
        > Break the bonds of mental health
        >
        > World Health Day 2001 on 7th April had a special focus on mental
        > health. There is little doubt mental health is moving rapidly up the
        > agenda on several fronts. Media coverage of mental health grows
        > apace, albeit oscillating between community care failures, "mad axeman
        > on the loose" and sympathetic lifestyle features on stress, and the
        > national service framework for mental health have reinforced mental
        > health as a priority area.
        > (www.societyguardian.co.uk, 61412001)
        >
        > Healthy surfing
        >
        > A group of occupational therapists working in mental health have been
        > exploring the Internet to discover the standard of information
        > available to those people seeking advice for the first time on one of
        > the most common problems - depression. As most people who experience
        > depression do not seek professional treatment, the Internet can
        > provide instant resources,. for some and encourage others to access
        > more formal help. In the case of mental illness, the Internet is a
        > particularly useful medium for information because of the stigma that
        > still surrounds the problem. (Therapy Weekly, 51412001)
        >
        >
        >
        > Natural cannabis 'better than extracts'
        >
        > A scientist has said that medicines containing every ingredient of
        > cannabis might work better than chemical extracts. Dr Williamson from
        > the London School of Pharmacy said she had found that using the whole
        > herb was as effective as an extract at tackling MS symptoms such as
        > spasticity, but worked faster. Much work has already been carried out
        > on a cannabis ingredient, or cannabinoid, called THC, but Dr
        > Williamson said she wanted trials on the whole plant extended.
        > (www.news.bbc.co.uk, 5/412001)
        >
        > Learning Difficulties
        >
        > Local branches to break away from leading charity
        >
        > The disability charity, Mencap, is facing a grassroots rebellion after
        > two of its local branches announced they are to pull out of the
        > organisation in protest at its "outdated" approach. Two London Mencap
        > branches have decided to change their name to dissociate themselves
        > from the national charity. Islington and Kensington & Chelsea local
        > branches say they no longer want a name linked to mental handicap,
        > which they say is derogatory and outdated. (www.societyguardian.co.uk,
        > 29/3/2001)
        >
        >
        > Scotland puts learning disabilities
        > centre stage
        >
        > Services for people with learning difficulties in Scotland have taken
        > a giant leap forward with plans to set up a Scottish development
        > centre for learning difficulties. A consortium of 13 organisations
        > has been awarded £1.5m over five years to develop the Glasgow-based
        > centre, which will be up and running by September to offer advice,
        > training and support to agencies, professionals and people with
        > learning disabilities.
        > kwww.societyguardian.co.uk, 29/312001)
        >
        > Community Care
        >
        > Councils make headway in care trusts row
        >
        > Local authorities are claiming a victory in their bid to stop the NHS
        > taking over community services, following government concessions on
        > care trust proposals. The Local Government Association (LGA) says
        > amendments to the health and social care bill, allowing councils to
        > nominate local trust board members, are "very positive". The move
        > should assure local authorities a voice in the way adult care services
        > are delivered in the future. (www.societyguardian.co.uk, 5/412001)
        >
        >
        >
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      • Keith Armstrong
        Lyn I have a manual wheelchair from the UK DHSS but as the powered chairs .....I brought mine privately because UK Gov restrictions are too petty. Most UK
        Message 3 of 6 , May 2, 2001
          Lyn

          I have a manual wheelchair from the UK DHSS but as the powered chairs
          .....I brought mine privately because UK Gov restrictions are too
          petty. Most UK ministry powered wheelchairs fail to have kerb
          climbers.

          The department should employ more experts (i.e. wheelchair users).

          Keith

          --- In disabilitystudies@y..., "L@M... Dowling" <dowling@h...> wrote:
          > hello - i am doing a study of equipment needs, especially costly
          items, and
          > looking at difficulties for a group of families from regional NSW,
          Australia
          > in acquiring necessary equipment. Of particular concern are
          difficulties
          > around acquiring prescribed wheelchairs for their children, hoists
          and other
          > expensive and technically sophisticated items of equipment. I am
          interested
          > in locating relevant information about equipment issues in other
          countries
          > as well as Australia. Many of the books talk in general terms about
          support
          > and I would be keen to know of any equipment studies. I'm also
          interested
          > in knowing how support for equipment is provided in various
          countries. Any
          > suggestions would be appreciated. I was interested in this item
          about
          > freezing electric-powered wheelchairs. Lyn Dowling
          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: Keith Armstrong [mailto:keitharm@p...]
          > Sent: Monday, 30 April 2001 5:52 AM
          > To: disabilitystudies@y...
          > Subject: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)
          >
          >
          > Wheelchair funds need boost
          SNIP
        • dowling
          Thanks for the info Keith. Lyn ... From: Keith Armstrong [mailto:keitharm@postmaster.co.uk] Sent: Thursday, 3 May 2001 11:01 AM To:
          Message 4 of 6 , May 3, 2001
            Thanks for the info Keith. Lyn


            -----Original Message-----
            From: Keith Armstrong [mailto:keitharm@...]
            Sent: Thursday, 3 May 2001 11:01 AM
            To: disabilitystudies@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [disabilitystudies] Re: Disability Digest (long)


            Lyn

            I have a manual wheelchair from the UK DHSS but as the powered chairs
            .....I brought mine privately because UK Gov restrictions are too
            petty. Most UK ministry powered wheelchairs fail to have kerb
            climbers.

            The department should employ more experts (i.e. wheelchair users).

            Keith

            --- In disabilitystudies@y..., "L@M... Dowling" <dowling@h...> wrote:
            > hello - i am doing a study of equipment needs, especially costly
            items, and
            > looking at difficulties for a group of families from regional NSW,
            Australia
            > in acquiring necessary equipment. Of particular concern are
            difficulties
            > around acquiring prescribed wheelchairs for their children, hoists
            and other
            > expensive and technically sophisticated items of equipment. I am
            interested
            > in locating relevant information about equipment issues in other
            countries
            > as well as Australia. Many of the books talk in general terms about
            support
            > and I would be keen to know of any equipment studies. I'm also
            interested
            > in knowing how support for equipment is provided in various
            countries. Any
            > suggestions would be appreciated. I was interested in this item
            about
            > freezing electric-powered wheelchairs. Lyn Dowling
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: Keith Armstrong [mailto:keitharm@p...]
            > Sent: Monday, 30 April 2001 5:52 AM
            > To: disabilitystudies@y...
            > Subject: [disabilitystudies] Disability Digest (long)
            >
            >
            > Wheelchair funds need boost
            SNIP


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