PIP Eligibility – Deaf Case Study

Case study 9
Trevor is 25 and lives in sheltered accommodation provided by the local council,
sharing a house with three other people one of whom, like him, is also profoundly
deaf. He likes meeting up with friends and often goes to see movies with subtitles.
His preferred method of communication is British Sign Language and many of the
people he sees regularly have learnt a few essential elements of sign language, to
help with communication. He keeps in touch with his friends by text and his phone
vibrates and flashes to alert him when he receives messages. The doorbell in his
house also has a light that goes on when someone rings it. He is able to cook for
himself, do his own shopping and manages to wash and dress without support.
Likely descriptor choices

Total points
Daily living activities = 8 (standard rate Daily Living component)
Mobility activities = 0 (no Mobility component entitlement)
Trevor’s impairment impacts on his ability to communicate and he requires a British
Sign Language interpreter. He is able to carry out all other everyday activities

Editor note: I have a lot to say about this. First of all, it says Trevor requires a British Sign Language interpreter. The assessment doesn’t even begin to ascertain how much Trevor requires this and how this requirement can be met. Assessment is so infuriatingly half-assed. 

PIP – Eligibility criteria

Pardon me for not blogging after such a long time. Also, pardon me for launching straight into a raging subject that have worked up Twitter into a moral outrage and people with disabilities up in arms. Pardon me for quickly putting together this post.

In the light of the current Welfare Reform, currently being brutally pushed through the House of Lords without so much scrutiny and analysis, one of the most contentious aspects of it is to replace Disability Living Allowance with PIP (Personal Independence Payment) for spurious reasons. (I hope I can have the opportunity to explain why later).

Last night, DWP have published the proposed thresholds points to guide the re-assessment part of the new PIP. This can be found here.

Below is taken from Benefits and Work website of how each claimant will be scored.

Continue reading

Dering Interview on File on Four (BBC Radio 4)

Transcript kindly provided by Claire of Team Hado.

File on Four

Part of a programme looking more widely and whether charities be trusted to run public services well and honestly?

Dering section – 11.40

While the impact of reorganisation is troubling some volunteers, what concerns many managers of charities is the future financing of public sector contracts. They worry that, while they might be about to get a bigger slice of the cake, the cake itself is shrinking rapidly under the Chancellor’s cuts, and there’s real anxiety amongst smaller groups that they may face severe financial pressure from the way public sector contracts are awarded. Continue reading

Gold-plated service

At the behest of Alison Byran of G.O.D.

Apologies for the lengthy break away from blogging. Things have been mad at work, plus an impending new addition to our new family, plus sustained efforts throughout Autumn to renovate the 2nd half of our house in readiness for the new addition. Oh well, life happened!

I started my Xmas holidays early – on 16th Dec – hee hee, Xmas glee! Whilst out Xmas shopping, I had an impromtu shear – haircut – so, as per usual, my hearing aid are taken off. Typically, I am always asked to take them off by the barber and, as per usual, the barber still try to strike up a conversation as if I am a hearing person. Continue reading

Co-operation raises £1 million for the deaf

Co-operation raises £1 million for the deaf

I am proud to announce that with the generous help of the Cumbrian public, the 37 local Co-operative stores in the area and other Co-operative businesses throughout the UK, £1 million has been raised so far for RNID (The Royal National Institute for Deaf People).

The Co-op has chosen the RNID as this year’s charity

This is fantastic news and I wish to thank all those who have donated to this very worthwhile cause at their local Cumbrian Co-operative store, even through these difficult times. This money will enable RNID to do even more to help people adjust to life with a hearing loss, and to campaign for people to take their hearing health seriously.

The Co-operative has chosen RNID as its charity of the year for 2009, and we have been overwhelmed by the support of staff, members and customers. However, it is a sad fact that it can take people up to 15 years to acknowledge hearing difficulties.

RNID’s message is simple; if you have hearing difficulties, dial nnnnnnn or visit www.rnid.org.uk/hearingmatters to check your hearing now.

Chief Executive RNID

No mention of the word “deaf” in the letter by Jackie,  except for RNId’s full name.  However, the newspaper headlined the article with the word “deaf”. On the public front, is the word “deaf” now taboo at RNId?

Our representation is getting skewed here cos the letter publicly state that it is RNId’s remit to look after the hearing people’s hearing/hearing loss – which is a no bad thing – but masquerading under the “Deaf” banner is misleading and the press is not helping the situation. They should drop that from their name. I have the feeling the money will never reach the real Deaf people at grassroots and get passed around over our heads.

Everything about us, without us.

Source: News & Star

Web Two point Oh, No!

Adam Rothwell

Adam Rothwell

This fella absolutely knocked the issue of charities’ transparency on head.

The gist of his article is to encourage greater engagement with the stakeholders and taking on aboard their criticisms. He also suggested that charities should be open about their activities and heed the criticisms in order to learn from it. He also advocate the use of the internet to faciliate this engagement, which will bring better transparency. I couldn’t put it any better myself.

I refer to the online rumblings that have been ongoing in the D/deaf’s quarters online, such as The Regency and the monster thread at BBC Ouch’s See Hear forum. You can also view another blog by MM, a disgruntled RNID observer/member. I never thought I would see the day when I refer to MM but do read his blog to get some background, if you can seperate the “wheat from the chaff“.

Rothwell ended his article like this:

Although it’s painfully trendy to admit this, the internet greatly magnifies the advantages that transparency can bring. The web makes it easy to communicate with your supporters – and gives them, potentially, almost infinite chances to help you.

Any organisation would be foolish if it passed up this opportunity.  But charities – which ultimately depend on their supporters for their legitimacy as well as income – simply cannot afford to let transparency’s potential pass them by.


Some background: Sorry if you heard this one before but it is relevant and a good example. Back in 2006, RNID withdrew their public forum as a draconian answer to flame war, that occurred inside forum. In one single swipe, the public have lost their platform to communicate with and within RNID. There is no sign of this forum ever being reinstated, ideally, under a more vigourous moderator. As the result, the majority of supporters have lost their “voice”, where RNID can learn from. This article would indicate that such action is a foolish move and they have ignored pleas to have it reinstated. Ever since, discontent rumbled on on blogs and forums elsewhere and it been reported that RNID are becoming increasingly distant in their ivory towers as members struggle to communicate with the higher hierarchy at RNID. By that stance, they can’t claim it is their legitimacy to represent us Deaf people if we can’t engage with them constructively. More recently, RNID’s Director of Advocacy and Policy have stated, on ThirdSector, that they recognise the importance of the internet for communication. That is rather an equivocal statement. Money. Mouth. Put.

TAG calls for Government action after independent Ofcom report on deaf telecoms

TAG is calling for Government action to improve deaf telecoms services following a new report from Ofcom that highlights the benefits that modernised telephone relay services could have on the employment and everyday lives of deaf people. The independent report, Voice telephony services for deaf people, was commissioned by Ofcom as part of its work to tackle the most critical issues that disabled people face with communications services.

The report says that modernised relay services – in use in several other countries, but available to only a very few people in the UK – could enable deaf people to be significantly more productive at work, help reduce their feelings of isolation and loneliness at home and make everyday telephone interactions less stressful and much faster.

Ruth Myers, chairman of TAG said “We are very pleased that this independent report for Ofcom has highlighted the all-round benefits of modernised relay services to deaf people and that they may even be more cost-effective than the existing basic text relay service. We now want the government to act promptly to ensure that modernised services can be available to deaf people at fair prices.
“The report echoes what TAG has been saying for a very long time: that the existing basic text relay service is very frustrating for its deaf users principally because it is too slow and does not allow natural fluid conversations. As the report indicates, the newer captioned and video relay services enable much faster, less stressful and far more effective means for deaf people to contact hearing people by voice telephone.” The continuing importance of voice telephone calls for the general population despite the growth in other forms of text communication like SMS texting, email and instant messaging is also highlighted by the report. Although voice calls by the hearing population have decreased a little in recent years, they have now stabilised at an average 90 minutes per week. Deaf people are therefore largely missing out on a vital mode of communication, an issue that could be addressed through the widespread availability of modernised relay services.

TAG is gaining support for its campaign from MPs of all the main political parties, many of whom are raising the issue in Parliament.

The Ofcom report on deaf telecoms is available at http://tiny.cc/fntjS TAG is a consortium made up of the British Deaf Association, Deafness Support Network, deafPLUS, Hearing Concern Link, National Association of Deafened People, National Deaf Children’s Society, Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), and Sense.

Related links:

News’ source

Twitter ye not…not

Podcast From KnowHowNonProfit

Ian Bruce

Brian Lamb is the executive director of advocacy and policy at the RNID and the author of NCVO’s Good Campaigns Guide, which maps out effective tools to increase the quality and the evaluation of campaigning. Within RNID, Brian has had overall responsibility for driving forward the work on awareness of the dangers of loud noise, including the award winning ‘Don’t Lose the Music’ campaign aimed at younger people and those working in the entertainment and music industry. Here he explains what he think makes an effective campaign.

Brian Lamb, RNID

I think it’s something that captures the imagination, I think it’s something that’s got flair and passion. I think passion’s vastly underestimated still, in campaigning. You’ve got to have the technique but you’ve actually got to pull people to your issue – because there’s hundreds of issues out there and yours has got to stand out. And yours has got to motivate decision makers to make them feel that this is the one that they’ve got to address.

I think what you have to remember, whether you’re a big or a small campaign, the kind of steps you ought to be taking is focusing ruthlessly on what is the key thing you need to achieve and who can really make that difference for you. And look to how you can use the language of the people that you’re campaigning against, to put it into their terms, so they can understand what you’re looking for. And I think if you do that, you will always present a very effective case to those you’re lobbying against.

I think campaigning is changing massively at the moment, because the more people become disillusioned with traditional parties and traditional ways of influencing, the more and more they’re going to charities and to campaigning organisations to get the democratic voice they feel they’re not getting through the system. We’ve seen an explosion in the last ten years of community national base campaigns taking on large issues and creating the political weather, where political parties are simply now just responding to what’s going on in civil society.

I think what’s interesting is everybody keeps talking about the internet and Twitter and social networking, and that’s very important. But it’s amazing how much people are going back to traditional grass-roots methods of giving people a sense of community, a place to go and people to relate to. You look at a lot of the successful campaigns that are getting media attention – it’s actually about bringing people together in a way that, again, political parties are often not. It’s then knowing how to use the media and to do that with flair and do things differently that actually attracts attention. And again I think it’s the novelty that people can bring, as well as the passion, that often makes the difference and makes particular campaigns stand out.

Prompted Questions for Brian Lamb

How did you become a campaigner? What got you started?

What are the key components of a good campaign?

Is there ever a “one-size-fits-all” approach?

What is your view of Hacan’s campaigning?

Where do you think people make mistakes?

Can you give me some examples of some good campaigns?

Where do you see our campaigners of the future?

How do you see the future of campaigns? (online/mobile phones/etc..)

Do you think the internet will become an effective campaigning platform? Or is there too much junk cluttering the internet distracting the audience away from the important stuff?

What grabbed my attention is this bit:

I think campaigning is changing massively at the moment, because the more people become disillusioned with traditional parties and traditional ways of influencing, the more and more they’re going to charities and to campaigning organisations to get the democratic voice they feel they’re not getting through the system.

Democratic voice? Although I have not made representations to RNID, I have seen plenty of complaints online and through 1st hand, within the deaf rank and file community, that they are not getting that democratic voice. Are they going to change their position at any time soon? Or do we need to do it ourselves?

We’ve seen an explosion in the last ten years of community national base campaigns taking on large issues and creating the political weather, where political parties are simply now just responding to what’s going on in civil society.

Are we missing a trick here? Should there be more groups/organisations to work alongside BDA? For example, a campaign for accessible health programs rolled out on national scale i.e. stop smoking group or drug/alcohol group. I would rather engage with a deaf-led self-help group than attend a mainstream group with an interpreter as I do not want my deafness to be centre of attention when I do attend. BSL announcement about Swine flu is all great but what is happening on the local levels? I only found out because I am able to use the internet effectively and got my feelers out. Are the Whitehall’s civil servant mandarins ensuring the information are reaching the right audience?

I think what’s interesting is everybody keeps talking about the internet and Twitter and social networking, and that’s very important.

Is Twitter really the future? While it is fun and digestible, I am still unconvinced – despite the hype.