An email I’ve just received:
Independent Living Fund – Birthday Protest
2pm Dean’s Yard, Westminster Monday, June 10th with delivery of Birthday Card and photo opportunity at DWP office, Tothill Street.
Disabled people will gather tomorrow to celebrate the twenty fifth birthday of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) which was set up to support disabled people with the highest levels of support need to live in the community instead of being confined to residential care. The silver jubilee of the ILF follows the government’s announcement in December 2012 that the Fund will be permanently shut from April 2015 leaving disabled people in despair about their future.
Since it was established on 8th June 1988 the ILF has supported thousands of disabled people to live active and meaningful lives enjoying choice, control and independence and being able to participate in employment and volunteering, education and training and family, social and public life.
Local authorities do not and cannot provide the same level of range of support as the ILF. Even for disabled people found eligible for adult social care services, support packages are ever diminishing as funding for local authorities is slashed. Since the closure of the ILF to new applicants in December 2010 there has been a marked increase in inequality and oppression with support packages that do no more than feed, water and maintain disabled people effectively trapped in their homes. This is inhumane and in clear breach of disabled people’s fundamental human rights.
The permanent closure of the ILF signals the end of disabled people’s right to independent living. A spokesperson for Disabled People Against Cuts said, “It is shameful that in one of the richest countries in the world, disabled people should be left to live this way and that independence and inclusion should be sold out in favour of inequality and oppression.”
Protesters will gather to share birthday cake and celebrate the lives that support through the ILF has enabled us to live before presenting a birthday card to the Department for Work and Pensions.
contact – Anne 0787 2038370
Kevin – 0778 9095049
Jenny – 07966 132 523