People of Tumblr,
We (the d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing Community) in the UK desperately need your help.
With the riots going on in central London, everyone is having a say in it, but nobody is mentioning the disabled community who are going to be affected the most.
Since our General Election, it has been announced that David Cameron and the Conservative government want to abolish a number of services that are completely essential and vital to us to be able to live.
What the hell is going on? What are you talking about?
Basically, in short:
The Department for Work and Pensions want to make getting DLA (Disability Living Allowance) / PIP (Personal Independent Payment, believe ti’s called this now) even more harder to be accepted, and many d/Deaf/HoH users will lose their payments, or will no longer be granted to receive it.
(I’m 22. I’m severely profound, and each time I’ve applied for this, I’m repeatedly denied entitlement because I’m ‘not deaf enough’!! The money I would have got from this would have went towards the funds to buying the kit that I need to support my every day life. At the moment, all the kit I need works out to about £1500. I can’t afford that with my current job that I work in.)
There is a scheme called Access to Work, which enables funds/grants to purchase equipment and interpreters. They’re wanting to scrap it completely. This is a complete NIGHTMARE for d/Deaf/HoH users. Why?
Some users speak only using BSL (British Sign Language), they need interpreters to communicate.
Some users need specialist equipment (loop systems/radio aids) to be able to work effectively in the work place.
Some users require advice, and don’t know who to turn to. Access to Work are meant to be there to help them out. (Though, in all honesty, many users have had a bad experience with them. I put an application in over a year ago, and it’s never been looked at… What does that say, ey?)
And… Lastly.. They want to privatise the NHS. Many of us d/Deaf/HoH users need the NHS to be able to get check ups on our hearing, for repair services, replacement services for our hearing aids/cochlear implants/bahas, and of course replacement mould impressions to stop our ears from hurting.
You used to be able to go into a walk in clinic and get all of these done within 20-30 minutes, but now you have to book an appointment (which most of the time they only offer you appointments 3-6 weeks ahead, not great in emergencies.) and even when you’re there, nothing gets done about it.
Yes, these services are free.. But they won’t be for long.
A friend of mine got a cochlear implant fitted for free, but decided after a couple of years they wished to get the other side done… Only for the NHS to turn around and say ‘You have to pay £33,000 to get the other side fitted.’ As a 20 year old University student, there is NO way they can afford that, to make a change to their lives.
I could go on forever with all the reasons why we are at greater risk, because we need these services to be available and free to us to be able to live.
Now that this government are still in power, our chances to get jobs, get money we’re rightfully entitled to to aid our everyday needs, get the right access and support through careers and medically are going to be taken away from us.
We need our voices to be heard. We may be the ‘silent’ community, but we have a loud voice.
Help us out. There’s petitions that need signing, and I’ve included a few links to back up the latest stories in the news about this.
Was hoping to plan a peaceful d/Deaf/HoH protest regarding this, but can’t do it on my own. If anyone wishes to help join me in London to get our voices heard, please do message me.
Access to Work cap criticised for being a “cap on the aspirations of deaf young people”
DWP releases document on cuts to disabled work access scheme hours after election result