#YorkDisabilityNatter – Wednesday 10th February 2016, 6pm-9pm

inclusionDate: Wednesday 10th February 2016, 6pm-9pm. Venue: Snow Room, City of York Council Offices, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA.

What are the key issues for disabled people in York? What does equality and inclusion mean in 2016? Where do we go from here, and how do we get there?

York Independent Living Network invites you to an open debate and ‘natter’ about these and maybe other questions. We want disabled people, informal carers and their allies to come along and share their experiences, issues, achievements and ideas about disability equality and inclusion. 

The space will be friendly and there are no wrong answers, and everyone that wants to contribute will be given a chance to do so.  So if you have something to share, like what happened to you, or how you’ve achieved a goal, a question, a memory, a poem, some useful information, a bee in your bonnet, a film or photo, a campaign or an idea that will help further disability equality and inclusion in York do please come along.

The event will begin with a bit of getting to know each other and then we will open it up to those that come along. We will try and summarise it at the end and explore any future actions and next steps that may have arisen. You are welcome to come for all or part of the meeting too.

Just in case your wondering, by disabled people we refer to the social model and include a broad range of issues, i.e. mental health, learning difficulties, physical, sensory and other impairments, chronic illness and other health related issues. By informal carers we refer to friends or family members that provide an unpaid caring/support role. By allies we mean anyone who is committed to achieving disability equality and inclusion and recognises the everyday struggle disabled people face.

Please let us know if you can attend. We aim to facilitate an inclusive event, but let us know if you need something accessible for you to participate we will do our best to provide it.

For more information, directions, details of parking etc, and to let us know you are coming please email admin@yiln.org.uk or text/mob 07752 365 297.


text reads - #yorkdisabilitydoodle in black lettering and blue backgroundOn the 3rd and 4th Dec 2015, at City of York Council Offices to mark disability history month and mark international day of disabled people we asked people were to share their histories, experiences, ideas and knowledge about disability in doodles and words. International day of disabled people aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of disabled people.

We got a wonderful response and a wide range of contributions from people in York which we would like to thank everyone that took part. These included personal experiences, visions of  equality,  how to do inclusion, the naming of barriers and the impact of exclusion. Overall the words and doodles recognise both the personal and political struggle, as well as celebrating the unique and valuable contribution disabled people make, and their potential to make to everyday life.

Photos of each comment and doodle can be seen by clicking hereWe have purposely not edited these and are sharing them in totality as a way of allowing the diverse voices of disabled people and their allies to be seen and heard.  This we hope will help enable a conversation and debate to continue about disability so that disabled people are included as equal citizens in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. 

York Independent Living (YILN) is a disabled people-led organisation. We are focused on the empowerment of disabled people to have our voices heard, to influence the services we receive, to be included in, and get the most out of our lives.  If you would like to get involved, get in touch.

Stephen Lee Hodgkins (YILN trustee).



Image of previous doodle with text ‘whats your experience? and how can things be better?’

As part of disability history month and international day of disabled people York Independent Living Network will be creating a huge group disability history doodle. This will map some of the key events surrounding the politics, identity and experience of disabled people in both recent in distant times. Such as how disabled people were seen during the medieval and victorian era’s, famous disabled people, York’s disability history and how disability activists have achieved social change, transformed attitudes and been instrumental in bringing about inclusive policies and anti discrimination laws.

The doodle boards will be set up in the City York Council Entrance Hall, West Office, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th December 2015, from 9am – 5pm.

We want people to come along and add something to the doodle, like;  

What is disability? 

What’s your experience? 

What was it like for disabled people in times gone by? 

What will it be like in the future?

There are no wrong answers or bad doodles, so don’t hold back, although offensive things are not welcome. You can follow the doodle on twitter using the hashtag #YorkDisabilityDoodle.

The doodle will be facilitated by Stephen Lee Hodgkins (a trustee of YILN), who will be adding things over the two days. If you have any questions get in touch by email on hiya@stephenleehodgkins.net or twitter at @sidbaility

Direct payments in York – Good News!

The City of York Council has been asked by the Health and Adult Social Care Policy and Scrutiny Committee to review the Direct Payments Terms and Conditions and work with stakeholders – including York Independent Living Network and Lives Unlimited. Watch the webcast: http://bit.ly/1L1M3uD

The Council changed the Direct Payments policy and Terms and Conditions. The changes mean that all individuals who get direct payments must have a Cashplus account and that the Council can remove funding for regular payments that exceeds more than 4 weeks from the account. There are also some other changes that we are worried about.

YILN and Lives Unlimited wrote to the Council to object to the changes and the poor communication with individuals who have been affected. And the Council did not carry out meaningful consultation. We think the changes are against the wellbeing principle of the Care Act and will reduce choice and control.

The Council responded to us, clarifying some issues and providing reassurances. However they are not changing the Terms and Conditions and they have yet to write to all individuals concerned. For example, they have said that individuals can choose to keep their money in a separate account, which does not have to be a Cashplus account. But that is not what the Terms and Conditions state and people don’t know about this option.

Following the Committee meeting, we are now discussing changes to the Policy and the Terms and Conditions.

Our correspondence with the Council:

If you would like to be kept informed about this, then please email admin@yiln.org.uk wiith your name and email address, and whether you get direct payments.

Hate crime: pop-in session on Friday 15 May

Disabled people and hate crime

Friday 15 May, from 1.30 to 3.30pm

Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road, York YO23 1BW

  • Are you a disabled person?
  • Have you been a victim of crime? Or do you know someone who has been? The following can be a crime: bullying, name calling, hurting you, stealing from you, damaging something that belongs to you, saying or doing something that frightens you.
  • Do you believe the crime happened because of being a disabled person?

If so, then please come to this drop in session and tell Harriet Raine about it. She will write a report for the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire.

You do not have to register, just turn up any time between 1.30 – 3.30pm.

This event is organised by the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office. There will be another event for Deaf people with BSL/English interpreter (date to be confirmed).

If you have any questions about this event, please email Harriet at harriet.raine@northyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk.

Disabled People’s Demands for the first 100 Days of Government

As we enter the final days before the general and local elections, many disabled people and their families will be weighing up what current and previous Governments have done for them. By the 2015 election,disabled people will be amongst the hardest hit with cuts to vital benefits and services, with reduced control over their own lives and pushed further to the margins of society. 
YILN, York’s disabled people’s organisation, believes that a new Government must reverse the unfair cuts and work with disabled people to ensure that they enjoy equal rights with non-disabled people. That is why we endorse ‘Disabled People’s Demands for the First 100 Days of Government’, by Equal Lives, Inclusion London, Disabled People Against Cuts and the Alliance for Inclusive Education.
We call on our local and national candidates to pledge their support for ‘Disabled People’s Demands for the First 100 Days of Government’.
Disabled People’s Demands for First 100 days of the new Government
  1. Reverse the decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June and plan to open it up again to new recipients.
  2. Abolish the Bedroom Tax.
  3. Announce the scrapping of Work Capability Assessments and suspend assessments.
  4. Work with Dis­abled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to re-focus employment of disabled people to removing disabling barriers and ensuring workforces in public and private sector reflect the diversity of the community by age, disability, race, gender, sexuality, etc.
  5. Move the Office for Disability Issues out of DWP and into the Cabinet office and appoint disabled peo­ple from Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to key posts.
  6. Engage with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to co-produce an action plan to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Interpretative Declaration. Remove all reservations.
  7. Invite the UN inquiry team into the UK so they can carry out their investigation into human rights abuses of disabled people.
  8. Fund mental health based on parity of esteem to address the short term crisis while longer term solu­tions are sorted.
  9. Scrap benefit sanctions.
  10. Restore funding to the NHS and local authorities for children’s and adult social care to 2010 levels and up rated for inflation.
  11. Reverse cuts to Access to Work and expand its remit and scope.
  12. Stop all new Special Free Schools/Academy applications and begin a plan to revert existing Free Schools and Academies to Local Authority control.
  13. Stop the plan to cut Disabled Students Allowance.
  14. Review equality legislation and work with DPOs to draft disability civil rights legislation with real scrutiny and enforcement by DPOs.
  15. Plan a programme of affordable public house building and ensure all new homes are accessible to all disabled people.
  16. For disabled people renting in the private sector the level of Local Housing Allowance paid must reflect the costs of their additional needs and no longer be restricted to the 30th percentile of Broad Market Rental Area rents.
  17. Repeal changes to Legal Aid in England & Wales to ensure that Disabled people and all other groups have equal access to the justice system and all are equal under the rule of law.

Share your experiences about social care

York Independent Living Network and Lives Unlimited

invite you to

Have your Say, Make our Voices Heard

For disabled people and family carers

Friday 20 March 2-4pm
at St Aelred’s Community Centre, Fifth Avenue,

York YO31 0PN

Following our successful ‘The Care Act and You’ event with Luke Clements last month, we have responded to people’s requests to hold gatherings for everyone to share experiences, difficulties and provide an opportunity for all our voices to be fed back to senior managers at City of York.

Refreshments: Accessible building: Plenty of car parking

It would help if you email info@livesunlimited.org.uk to say you are coming but please feel free to just turn up on the day.

We look forward to seeing you on the 20th.

Alison,Chris, Jo, Marije and Stephen
York Independent Living Network and Lives Unlimited


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 207 other followers