John Pring, who runs the Disability News Service, publishes his weekly news round-up of the happenings in the disability world the past week.
• Concerns have been raised about how members of the public are being chosen to take part in the Paralympic torch relay – a major event in the lead-up to this summer’s London 2012 games.
• New figures show the number of disabled people granted funds to make their workplaces more accessible has fallen sharply again.
• A leading disabled people’s organisation has called on the disability movement to rally behind Remploy workers and fight the government’s planned closures of at least 36 factories, and the loss of more than 1,500 disabled people’s jobs.
• Black and minority ethnic disabled people face a “disaster”, with deteriorating health, increased poverty, and lower life expectancy, if nothing is done to deal with their unmet needs, according to a leading disabled activist.
• New figures show the proportion of disabled people found eligible for unconditional support under the much-criticised “fitness for work” regime is continuing to rise.
• The minister for disabled people has defended plans that will see huge private sector companies fighting over contracts to carry out the new medical assessments that will determine disabled people’s eligibility for vital benefits.
• The Department for Work and Pensions has been unable to produce any evidence to show that it has analysed the knock-on effects of its huge cuts to spending on disability living allowance.
• A thalidomide survivor has been released from prison in the Philippines after serving nearly 20 years, thanks to a campaign led by a disabled activist and fellow survivor.
• Four young people have spent four days travelling more than 800 miles around Wales on public transport, to raise awareness of the barriers they and other disabled people face.
• Tributes have been paid across the disability movement to Lord [Jack] Ashley, the UK’s first deaf MP and a hugely committed campaigner for disability rights for more than 40 years, who died on Friday (20 April).
For links to the full stories, please visit Disability News Service.
Disability News Service (DNS) is run by John Pring, an experienced journalist who has been reporting on disability issues for more than 15 years.