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The 'We are Spartacus' (http://wearespartacus.org.uk/) network promoting disabled people's views on welfare reform, is launching a major campaign today (Monday 12 November 2012), and aims to make a big social media splash from 8am onwards.
To join in and find out more, follow the #realWCA #spartacus and #wearespartacus hashtags.
Ekklesia, which helped promote the Spartacus report, 'Responsible Reform: Changes to Disability Living Allowance' (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/responsiblereformDLA), by Sue Marsh, Dr Sarah Campbell and others, is pleased to back this latest initiative.
The original Spartacus report was published independently and written entirely by disabled people in January 2012, supported and endorsed by a range of NGOs, including Ekklesia, Disability Alliance, Mind, Papworth Trust and Scope.
Based on detailed examination of submissions to the DLA consultation by 532 organisations, it exposed the fact that that the coalition government's proposed 'reforms' lacked both backing and credibility.
Since then the Welfare Reform Act has passed into law, despite numerous parliamentary defeats for key elements of it. Attacks on the rights, dignity, integrity and living standards of disabled people and carers have continued over the past year.
The new focus is on a People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which can be found here: http://wearespartacus.org.uk/wca-peoples-review/
The ongoing scandals over WCA and Atos, and the reported deaths of people subjected to them, are a key part of the deplorable overall picture of official neglect and disabling social welfare cuts.
This, say critics, belies gratuitous attempts from senior politicians to mask what is going on by capitalising on the success of Paralympic Games to bolster an impression that they favour empowering people with disabilities.
Pat Onions' e-petition on the government's direct democracy website attracted tens of thousands of signatures for a proposal to stop and review welfare reform with regard to their impact on disabled people and families.
This alone was not sufficient to trigger a parliamentary debate on the subject, but disabled people and their allies are not giving up. The People’s Review is a comprehensive analysis not only of people’s experience, but of the policies and activities behind the scenes which reveal the objective reality of an assessment process that needs a radical overhaul, and of a broken system.
* People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) - http://wearespartacus.org.uk/wca-peoples-review/
* We Are Spartacus - http://wearespartacus.org.uk/
* More on the Spartacus Report and the People's Review - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/spartacusreport
* Twitter.com: #realWCATweet