Can you help Panorama?

With thanks to Ken Butler of Disability Rights UK.

Kathleen Mullin of BBC’s Panorama programme is asking for help with the following –

“BBC Panorama is interested in speaking to people about their experience with the universal credit system.

If you would like to speak to the research team please call 07714 956 934.

Thanks very much to any advisers or their clients who can help.”

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The BBC are looking at the accessibility of every ESA and PIP assessment venue and your help is needed.

With thanks to our colleague Peter Turville via our friends at Rightsnet.

A BBC disability correspondent is compiling details of the accessibility of every ESA and PIP assessment venue – following up on a piece on ‘You & Yours’ some months back.

They are looking at practical issues including:

• Where is the venue located – city centre, out of town industrial estate, rural location etc?
• How easy is it to get to by public transport? Frequency of service, distance from nearest bus stop / trains station etc. Would a client need to take a taxi for part of the journey?
• Parking – at venue or nearby, cost etc. Problems if not a Blue Badge holder.
• How well is the venue signed – big sign or little plaque on door / in window? How is it identified – providers / sub-contractors name / logo?
• Financial difficulty for client paying for the travel cost up front / delay in provider paying refund or refusing to pay taxi fares.
• Accessibility – steps, ramps, for (electric) wheel chairs etc. Issues with suitable adaptions, provision of BSL and other interpreters etc.
• Pre-appointment info. – does it provide details of public transport routes, parking, accessibility restrictions, prepayment & refund of fares, paying for taxi, requesting an alternative venue or time of appointment?

They would be interested in particularly difficult to get to or find or otherwise inappropriate venues and other related problems like clients refused appointments at local / most easy to get to/accessible venue.

For example: a venue (featured in the previous item) is ‘hidden away’ in a small industrial estate in a village which has no public transport on a Sunday (when claimants are offered appointments). City centre(ish) venue is on a busy main road with no parking (double yellow, residents only in side streets, public car park 150m away and often full), old shop front with whitewashed windows (looks empty) with a tiny sign in the window (if you can see it due to condensation!).

If anyone has a claimant who is willing to be interviewed (radio – probably pre-recorded) about issues they had with a venue Carolyn would love to hear from you!

So for example – if a client missed their appointment because they couldn’t find the venue (tucked away on an industrial estate with a tiny sign on the door) or couldn’t get to the venue for the correct time (or had to go hours early or hang around for hours after) because of infrequent bus services etc.

Perhaps what they are not so interested in is claimants who were given an appointment at a venue a long way away when they had a more local venue. That was covered in the original piece – although if the provider refused to change the venue that would still be of interest.

Please contact: carolyn.atkinson@bbc.co.uk

 

Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability – a brief part 2. There will doubtless be more to follow!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We do know it’s snowing on the GMWRAG web site. We do know it’s only the 1st of December. We do know a number of you will object because it may even be snowing and inconveniencing you as we write. Anyway…

Following on from our recent piece on the governments somewhat under thought response to the existence of the disability employment gap which, if you haven’t read it already, can be found at  https://gmwrag.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/the-nightmare-before-christmas-improving-lives-the-future-of-work-health-and-disability, GMWRAG is pleased to see the BBC stepping to the fore with it’s first article on the subject not being an analysis of what will or won’t work amongst the many small proposals.

Instead the BBC have published this pertinent little article that ignores most of the proposals and instead focuses on a point made in the original GMWRAG article and indeed made by many responding to the original green paper. The plain old problem of transport to and from work (see the next to last paragraph in our article.

Disability employment: The challenge of getting to work in a wheelchair is worth 5 minutes of your time next time and can be found at the link above.

The Budget 2017 – all you can eat.

For the first time in many years the Budget did not significantly change the landscape of welfare reform. That isn’t to say that significant changes aren’t already on the horizon and April 2017 will see the end of payment for being in the work-related activity group put large numbers of people into significant debt and at high risk of homelessness.

If, by any chance, you missed the key budget announcements then the links below should soon put you right.

The live TV feed was at http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/8a000060-1bde-4491-bffe-4359e85832ea

Summaries and analysis can also be found at The Guardian and if that doesn’t float your boat then there’s also the BBC summaries.

Audience members required for BBC Two programme “Can Britain Have A Pay Rise?”.

GMWRAG members may be interested in the following information from the BBC. It would be great if we could get some GMWRAG members on there.

Do you think that Britain needs a pay rise? How do you think your wages compare to others? Are British workers lazy? Are bosses paid too much? If you have an opinion on pay the BBC want to hear from you.

BBC Two is hosting a special programme asking these questions and want to speak to people from right across the pay spectrum – and country – to hear their views and experiences. The audience, will be at the heart of the programme so we are looking for people who want to interact and contribute to the discussion, which will be 100% audience based.

Where: BBC Studios Salford, Manchester.

See the Salford Star for a point of interest about the location.

When: coming soon for BBC Two.  As they want to represent the whole of the UK, reasonable travel expenses will be covered. You can download an audience flyer here.

If you would like to be in the studio audience please get in touch with Heloise Beaton (@heloisebeatonTV) on payaudience@bbc.co.uk or 03030 807 945.