Grave news from the front line

More disability organisations close down

Grave news

It seems that every day I get an email from someone telling me that the group or organisation that they belong to has had to close down due to funding cuts.

It started with several Disability Arts Forums having their funding cut to the bone and being forced to close down. This was followed by a variety of groups that were also run and controlled by Disabled people having to shut down as they felt the chill wind of change generated by the Coalition.

Earlier this week it was Mark Bagley of Choices and Rights telling me that their Disability Housing Service has had to close down. I know that this service has helped lots of disabled people sort out their housing problems and will be sorely missed. Although no longer able to help out with housing advise, Mark tells me that they’ll still be there, managing the Centre for Independent Living along with all of the other support services that are run from their office in Hull. You can find out more by clicking on this link  or by cutting and pasting this url – http://www.choicesandrights.org.uk/

The next day I got an email from Peter Little saying that SKILL: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, has announced its closure. SKILL is the only pan disability charity that focuses on promoting equality for disabled people in education, training and employment.

SKILL has been a great champion of further and higher education for disabled students for some 40 years, providing guidance and support and keeping a close watch on national policy. It has played a hugely important role in improving access to post-16 education.

As well as the loss of a great service, 23 staff have also been made redundant!

The way things are going, we’ll be back where we started in the 1800’s with the only growth industry being the building of Poor Houses around the country and the issuing of begging licences to the deserving poor!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John McGovern on 16/04/2011 at 21:43

    Talk about nails in coffins! I’ve been an advocate of the services of SKILL (National Bureau for Students with Disabilities) for many, many years. I’ve used their services for myself in the 70’s and 80’s and continued contact, while working with young disabled people. I’m shocked and saddened by their demise.

    SKILL have survived some shaky budget decisions in the past, to hear of their demise, means,less disabled people being able to access further and higher education. Yet another folly by a stupid Government who are simply choosing to cut, by nothing more than stealth! Without due regard again (check what happened after they cut ‘Access to Work’ facilities, to disabled people, hoping to enter the labour market!

    Not only will we no longer be able to access education or work, via organisations we’ve trusted, for nearly a generation, soon the only access into the labour (and possibly, education) market, will be via the much hated, ATOS WCA route, where we’ll suffer automatic ‘sanctions’, because no account is taken of the fluctuating nature of most people’s disabilities!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sasha Callaghan on 17/04/2011 at 02:51

    Ho hum. It isn’t just Skill that’s gone belly up. The fate of two other large infrastructure organisations in the post-16 education sector give an indication of where things are heading ; Lifelong Learning UK (lluk) closed at the end of March and NIACE (national institute of adult continuing eduction) has made about 3 quarters of it’s staff redundant.whilst neither of these organistions were DPO’s they both did work that promoted the rights of disabled people. LLUK was responsible for workforce monitoring and data collection which sounds dull but provided hard evidence around the recruitment, selection and retention of disabled staff. NIACE has produced first rate teaching resources for adults with learning difficulties and this work is now under threat. Oh joy!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Madam on 19/04/2011 at 13:10

    Excellent news! Had enough of these fake charities using taxpayers money to ‘influence policy’ and to sway public opinion. May there be many more to come…you snooze, you lose! 😀

    Reply

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