I’m sorry this blog post is two days late, but I guess it just proves how difficult things can get for us, after the conference and an art session in Birmingham I’ve felt quite tired and have been overcome by my inner demons. This post was supposed to coincide with the ”Day of Remembrance for ATOS Victims” on Monday 3rd December , but I just couldn’t deliver, but I think as long as I highlight the issue I've done my bit. For those not in the know around 73 sick or disabled people as dying each week due to the WCA tests, in 1989, 96 people died in the Hillsbourgh tragedy. This rightly caused public outrage and equerries yet the world carries on whilst weekly around 73 people die. Here are the figures in more depth from a DWP document. - statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/a...
From this week those people who have been placed in the Work Related Activity Group will now face sanctions for not fulfilling what is required of them to help them get back to work, as part of their preparation for work they will be compelled to take part in the government’s workfare scheme. I’m sure you’ve read my blog posts where I’ve discussed workfare and read the newspaper articles. Here’s some info with regards to the WRAG group and sanctions - benefitsandwork.co.uk/emplo... Sadly though there have been some jobsworths at the DWP who think that being in hospital after being sectioned isn’t a good enough reason to miss an appointment. Some of these cases have been highlighted in the press, please take a moment to have a look at the list, “Calum’s List” of those whose stories have been highlighted by their local press and remember the longer we let this go on the longer it will go on. calumslist.org/
I do have some ticcer friends that are on ESA, it’s been a minefield, due to TS being such a complex and little understood condition people with TS have been asked to perform physical tasks to prove their fitness to work, if you suffer from crippling anxiety and OCD do you really think being able to press a button indicates your fitness to work? We’re neither here nor there, some of us are assessed as having a mental health problem, whilst others a physical disability. It doesn’t get much better when you meet you employment advisors who have the task of helping you back into work, one man’s advisor is hoping that his TS and co-morbidities will improve in-between each of his appointments every two months, on average us ticcers see our consultants every 6 months, it’s not likely they are going to find a cure in the next few weeks. You can imagine the sparks that are likely to fly when employment advisors with very little knowledge of disability, let alone TS come across someone frustrated with years of lack of understanding coupled with ASD or AS and ODD.
I know this may seem like an odd leap but on Saturday after the conference I was chatting with a fellow ticcer on the way home discussing this topic and us, the ticcers that are part of this nightmare, society is splitting, the middle class against the working class, the working class with jobs against those that are unemployed, then the deserving on benefits and those that aren’t. Continually you have to explain what it’s really like to have TS and how it infects every part of your life, as a but of many a joke we felt very much the undeserving, even joked about by other members of the disabled community rather than a legitimate member of the disabled community. How many times as a ticcer have you had to explain how complex TS actually is and that you do more than just spurt out random expletives? Also these explanations are aimed at professionals who should have done their homework!
We have a long way to go, please pass this blog post on, share it with friends and family, we need to let everyone know what’s going on. Sign the petitions, write to your MP, and just get it out there.