Assessing the Assessors - Complete The Atos Survey

Assessing the Assessors: Are Atos Fit to Work?
A Work Capability Questionnaire

WoW Petition would like to invite you to complete a short survey about your Work Capability Assessment experience.

The questionnaire is part of Mark Thomas's 100 Acts of Dissent.

TV and radio comedian and activist Mark Thomas appeared recently at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival together with WoW Petition members to launch a campaign to 'Assess the Assessors'. The information collected from the questionnaire will be presented to a parliamentary select committee later this year, to coincide with the 100,000 signatures from WoW Petition which ends on December 12th.

The survey is designed to assess the performance of Atos Healthcare and how they conduct their work capability assessments. The information will be used as evidence and no names or identifying details will be given to anyone at any time without the express and written authorisation of yourself. You may remain anonymous if you prefer. 

Thank you for your support.

Supported by:
  • WoW Petition
  • The Archibald Foundation
  • Atos Stories
  • Atos Miracles
  • Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign
  • DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts)
  • False Economy
  • Glasgow Against Atos
  • inactualfact.org.uk
  • Nick @Mylegalforum ilegal.org.uk


LMC Campaign To Refuse Benefits Help is Short Sighted & Wrong

The article in today’s Pulse magazine 23/08/13,  is shocking and frightening in equal measure. Doctors guided by their LMCs, may refuse to provide any supporting documentation for claimants of sickness and disability benefits, in their applications or appeals.

Pulse:  LMC leaders plan campaign to encourage GPs to 'just say no' to benefit requests

If a government body, namely the DWP, guided by government policy, demands evidence of a person’s sickness or disability, and a public employee refuses that request as it is not in their remit, where is a person to turn?

On the one hand they are being asked to prove they are ill/disabled, provide evidence of how it affects their daily living and their medication etc. On the other hand they are being refused the evidence by a public servant, what are they to do?  We would argue that this comes under the Disability Discrimination Act as the disabled person is clearly being discriminated against. They have no power to demand evidence as it is not in their GPs job description, but on the other hand the government demand it.

There is no tick box on the form that says not to worry if your GP refuses to help you, we will believe you, honest. Is it therefore just tough luck?

We would argue that this is clearly a hostile situation, which leaves the welfare claimant destitute and desperate. Surely the European Courts of Human Rights would have something to say about this. Would GP’s be found to be not making reasonable adjustments to enable their disabled patients to maintain their own lives?

We would rather work WITH doctors to protect the health and human rights of sick & disabled people and carers.

This proposed LMC campaign is short sighted, hostile and will inevitably lead to immense suffering and even deaths of disabled people. Surely the BMA who have condemned the WCA will find a way to allow doctors to protect their patients and be resourced to help their patients survive the abuse heaped upon them by the DWP.

This is a clear violation of an individual’s human rights, one governmental body demanding evidence and one refusing. The sick and disabled, through no fault of their own, are caught in the crossfire. Where is the LMC’s duty of care?


Reclaiming Our Futures 29th August-4th September

Disabled People Against Cuts, Black Triangle, Mental Health Resistance Network and the WOW petition bring you:

*Reclaiming Our Futures*

Join this year’s week of action to protest against austerity, fight for our rights and celebrate disabled people

Our rights are being stripped away day by day, by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems, leaving us without much hope for our futures - or our children’s.

We have been here before. Our history is littered with examples of how our community has come together when under attack to fight - and win. From the early campaigns of NLBDP (National League of Blind and Disabled People) through to the founding and manifesto of UPIAS (Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and on to DAN (Direct Action Network)- Now we have DPAC leading direct action and a host of other key grass root campaigns working towards reclaiming our rights and futures.

We have fought our corner over 3 centuries. And those fights have brought victories; the Independent Living Movement, our early CILs (Centres for Independent Living) and early active DPO's (Disabled Peoples Organisations) and the significant rights for disabled people (which are now under attack).  They represent big victories, brought about by mobilizing in our communities around our common cause - and having the will and determination to see our demands met without compromising our rights. We have consistently united in anger and celebration.

DPAC Reclaiming our Futures Action

This Autumn, we are asking our community to come together in anger, and celebration again - and to unite around our demands.

We will be launching the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto setting out our vision of how the resources, structures and institutions of our society today can be re-designed to empower disabled people to take part in life on our terms. Disabled people are, and always will be, the experts on our lives and our self-determination. It will be a vision and practical plan that we can take forward in our communities, workplaces and lives to reclaim our futures.

In the build up to the manifesto launch, DPAC is leading The ‘Reclaiming Our Futures’, seven days of action to protest against the targeting of disabled people by austerity measures, to fight for our rights for inclusion and independence as equal citizens and to celebrate the value, pride and self determination of disabled people.

From 29th August - 4th September DPAC and other campaigns will offer a range of activities you can get involved in. These events will bring together our anger at what is happening now, and celebrate our victories won, both in the past and to come.

The plan below is only half the story. We want YOU, your Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, your campaign group, your community, your friends to put on events and get involved too. Can’t get to our exhibition? - then put on your own. Can’t get to our direct action? - then do your own. Barbecues, debates, quiz nights, family days, picnics - whatever! ACT - in celebration or in anger! (PS don't forget to let us know what you're doing).

Day by Day: 29th August-4th September

Thursday 29th August - YOU launch our 7 days  of action

A range of resources will be available for your use as we ask all supporters to start our week of action with an online blitz. You will be the ones creating the buzz and the hype sending letters and twitter messages to targets of your choice ranging from MPs to disability charities to the media. We will be producing twibbons and memes but make and circulate your own. If you haven't got a Social Media account (such as Facebook & Twitter) set one up now, link to DPAC ( twitter: @Dis_PPL_Protest) and let’s create a cyber wave. #dpacrof

The launch will coincide with Transport for All’s Day of Action to make CrossRail accessible: http://dpac.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4d6df6fd8405aff8805b464e6&id=7411f431ef&e=c62d97673f

Friday 30th August - Local Protests

Last year during the ATOS Games over 30 local actions took place around the UK Local actions mean you get to choose the target of your choice. You could take the Reclaiming Our Futures manifesto to present at your local MP’s constituency office, spread it through social media, protest on the streets against segregated education, the proposed ILF closure or show solidarity at your local Remploy site (for those few factories in their last weeks of operation). Alternatively, you might want to lobby your local Council on the Bedroom Tax and cuts to local services/support. Oh, and as we know  ATOS offices are still around too….we’re sure you have other great ideas to add… Remember to let us know what you are doing so we can promote your actions. We will be producing local action resource packs but any materials you develop please send us copies to share with other protests and online.

Saturday 31st – Disability, Art & Protest Exhibition and Fundraising Gig

An exhibition and sharing of work exploring disability, art and protest followed by a ticketed fundraising gig run in partnership with Madpride and Tottenham Chances. Come during the day and join in our banner making workshop to prepare for the big Freedom Drive on the 4th September. If you would like to nominate an artist, collective and/or piece of work please let us know (including any links) and we will try to get them involved. If you want to do a local, street or online art protest too-this could be the day to do it.

Venue: Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, London, N17 6QN
12 – 7pm Exhibition: disability, art and protest
1 – 3.30pm Banner and placard making workshop
4 – 6pm Sharing of Work
7.30pm til late Gig

Sunday 1st September – Reclaiming the Social Model: the social model in the 21st Century

Key speakers : Anne Rae: former UPIAS and current chair of the Greater
Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), Colin Barnes: Professor of Disability Studies at Leeds Centre for Disability Studies

As government and the private sector increasingly use a so-called ‘modern understanding of disability’ to redefine who is and who isn’t disabled it is more important than ever that we understand, defend and promote the social model of disability. This isn’t helped when the social model is not fully supported within our movement. This event will be a chance to hear from a range of speakers and to discuss why the social model is still relevant today to our lives and our futures and to map out what we need to do to fight for it. The event will be live-streamed with the opportunity for people to participate in the discussion virtually. We will also be promoting a range of resources around the social model.

Venue (tbc): University of London Union, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Time: 12.30 – 4.30pm

Monday 2nd September - Direct Action

Despite the huge efforts of thousands of disabled people throughout the country, it is increasingly difficult to find spaces where lies, inaccuracies and mis-use of statistics can be challenged. DPAC recently released a study into how the DWP uses all of these to vilify and demonise disabled people. But why is this down to us? People should be presented with both sides of the story and this isn't happening. Disabled people are having to find ways to make sure our truths will be heard. Watch this space...

Tuesday 3rd September - ‘I Dare’ day

A day of online action to reinforce that we want Rights not Charity and a society where we are able to operate on our own terms as disabled people. Dare to ask for Rights not Charity. Dare to be an activist. Dare to ask more of 'our' organisations. We aren't asking for Care, we want Power: Power to write the script for our own lives, and not to be written out or written off by others. A range of actions and captions will be available for you to capture in an image and circulate online.

Wednesday 4th September – FREEDOM DRIVE

A final-day march and events in and around Parliament. Four themed 'blocks' will meet at 4 Government departments, central to the lives of disabled people. After handing over our demands, blocks will then move towards Parliament for a lobby where we will formally launch the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto and present our demands to our elected representatives.

Choose your ‘block’ and meet at 12.45pm at one of:
•    Department for Education to oppose government attacks on inclusive education and a return to segregation (Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT)
•    Department of Energy and Climate Change if you’re angry about the numbers of disabled people living in fuel poverty while the energy companies rake in ever growing profits (3 Whitehall Pl, City of Westminster, SW1A 2AW)
•    Department for Transport to challenge inaccessible transport, the opening of new inaccessible stations for Crossrail and proposed cuts to rail staff further reducing customer assistance (Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Rd, London SW1P 4DR)
•    Department of Health to defend our NHS and demand our right to levels of social care support enabling choice, control, dignity and independence (Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London SW1A 2NS)

Lobby of Parliament: 5 – 6pm – launch of the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto

WE WANT EVERYBODY TO JOIN US ON THIS MARCH ideally in person, but also online-this is for everyone everywhere. There will be accessible transport from a variety of towns and cities throughout the country (details to follow) and there is some funding available for transport but we will need your co-operation and patience to make this work for everybody, so please bear with us and note that while DPAC members will be given priority we want to support as many people as we can. If you can’t get there send a photo or your name and you can march with us.

This week of action is yours. Please take part at whatever level suits you - BUT MAKE SURE YOU TAKE PART. Share our events, resources and actions as far and wide as you can.

Lets Reclaim Our Futures, together!

DPAC web site: www.dpac.uk.net

DPAC facebook:
http://dpac.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4d6df6fd8405aff8805b464e6&id=f8de6f496c&e=c62d97673f (Open Community group- including all updates from DPAC)

http://dpac.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=4d6df6fd8405aff8805b464e6&id=c733d38be4&e=c62d97673f (original open group DPAC page- faster paced and more opinion driven than community group )

DPAC Twitter: Dis_PPL_Protest

DPAC email: mail@dpac.uk.net

Funded by:

The Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust
Edge Fund
Network for Social Change

Supported by:

Trades Unions Congress, UKUncut, Occupy London, Fuel Poverty Action, Right to Work, Unite Disabled Workers’ Committee, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union, European Network for Independent Living, Boycott Workfare, Just Fair, Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation


Bedding Out with WOW Campaign at Edinburgh Fringe #beddingout #wowpetition

My bed will shortly be wending its way to Edinburgh, where I’m hoping to bludge a comfy mattress for a 30-hour version of my Bedding Out performance at the Fringe. Where Salisbury and the livestream became a connecting of disabled people and building of strategy, Edinburgh is set to be a different beast. This time we’ll be soaking in the upbeat feel of the festival to reach people new to the debate. Rick and Jane of WOW Petition will be joining me at the bedside, to spread the word about the impact of cuts and propaganda on disabled people in order to mobilise allies and collect petition signatures along the way.

The #beddingout twitter feed will be active again for Edinburgh, so please join the conversation. This week, I was so sorry to lose the wonderful Dawn Willis @Quinonostante as tweetmeister this time around and I want to wish the very best to her son Matt for the speediest recovery. I’m also very pleased to welcome Laura @Ambir, from WOW Petition, stepping into the breech and tweeting from the heart of #beddingout in Edinburgh.

Three conversations will happen around the bed and two more will run on twitter. I’m just now doing the final edit of twitter conversations from last time, wrestling thousands of tweets into the Bedding Out archive on the RGP website. The range, depth, inspiration, rage and hope contained in the conversations is electric and I’m hoping for that same energy in Edinburgh.

I’ll be bedding out at the Hunt & Darton Café. In this fully functioning installation café that blends art with the everyday, Bedding Out will offer an escape from festival frenzy for a slower paced, more contemplative, chill zone in which I hope to build a sense of cool and determined possibility.

Meanwhile, Black Triangle are linking up with Bedding Out, plotting a performance spin-off, a little less chilled but just as filled with possibility…

 It would be great to meet some of you in Edinburgh and via twitter, so please join us if you can and let’s take the conversation and campaign even further.

Where: Hunt & Darton Cafe, 17-21 St Mary's Street, EH1 1SU (wheelchair accessible, including loo) http://huntanddartoncafe.com/edinburgh

When: Friday 9th August 10.00am ­ Saturday 10th 4.00pm 

Conversations around the bed Fri 1pm, 5pm, Saturday 10am, 2pm, with BSL interpreter and notetaker 

Conversation on Twitter Fri 9pm, Sat noon @RGPLizCrow #beddingout #wowpetition


#wowpetition & #BeddingOut Mass Tweet Friday 2nd 7pm

We are hoping to get the hashtags #wowpetition & #BeddingOut trending on twitter by tweeting it on Friday 2nd August at 7pm - including our own short messages about welfare reform, benefit cuts, what WOWpetition is (Resist the War On Welfare), the 3 phases of action and how to help.

The overall aim of the tweetathon will be to raise both awareness of what we're doing, as well as signatures for the petition and publicise Liz Crow's Fringe show which WOW is part of. Ultimately this is to save lives.

The best way to achieve these goals will be getting the #wowpetition #BeddingOut hashtag to trend nationwide! To do this, we're going to need as much help as possible - from as many people as possible. we'd be so grateful for any help you could offer advertising the event, as well as (especially!) taking part on Friday evening itself.

Pragmatically, all this needs to involve right now is for all of us to start promoting the tweetathon on our twitter timelines, as well as getting in touch with any of our friends (via twitter/email/facebook) we think would be interested in supporting the event. 

If you're a bit stuck for how to phrase your tweet, do feel free to use a pre-prepared example:

Coming Friday - group tweeting in support of #wowpetition #BeddingOut at 7pm. Help fight back against #welfarereform - all welcome! 

2nd Aug Friday 7pm - Mass Tweet in support of #wowpetition #BeddingOut Resist the War On Welfare, Stop ATOS/DWP Human Rights Abuses

One optional thing you could also do at this stage is start to think about the kind of tweets you may want to send on Friday. People tweeting their own thoughts on, or experiences of, welfare reform under the #wowpetition #BeddingOut tags will likely be more powerful to those reading than than if we were all just to reel out statistics!

The volume of tweets is the most important thing, so send as many as you can - advertising #wowpetition #BeddingOut talking about Resisting the War On Warfare and linking to wowpetition.com or http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43154  copy in friends and family and lobbying celebrities to retweet in order to show support. Every little helps!

Remember, in every tweet don't forget to include #wowpetition #BeddingOut and at least one of:

 - WOW Petition itself: http://wowpetition.com

 - Any other relevant or nationwide trending hashtag at our 'mass tweeting' time.

 - Finally, please remember that retweets DO NOT COUNT towards #hashtag trends! So if you want to RT anything, it would be so helpful if you could copy the text into a new tweet and add 'RT' to the front. Thank you so much for your support.