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DR UKs new training contract

26 January 2015

Disability Rights UK provides training to improve accessibility of assessments

Disability Rights UK has decided to accept the contract to deliver a training programme for Maximus health professionals on disability equality.

The Disability Rights UK Board discussed this at length before deciding to do this work. DR UK believes that the Work Capability Assessment needs radical overhaul: it is simply not fit for purpose. It is often experienced as punitive, it has no validity (there is no link between the points system and whether someone can or cannot work) – and the way it has been delivered is far too often inaccessible, disrespectful and distressing.

DR UK campaigns against the sanctions regime – see http://disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2015/january/disability-rights-uk-impact-sanctions, against the failing Work Programme http://disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2013/october/liz-sayce-criticises-non-work-programme – and for a radically changed system.

At the same time literally millions of people are going through these assessments. All main political parties envisage some form of assessment in the future.

The Board decided that it was therefore in the interests of disabled people that the health professionals undertaking the assessments should be trained by well qualified disabled people so they better understand the lives of disabled people and those living with long-term and fluctuating conditions; the barriers we face; and the requirements of legislation and good practice for equality and accessibility.

We’ll also be providing materials for health care professionals and others so they have a resource for reference after they have undertaken the training.

This contract was agreed on the strict  and clear understanding that DR UK will continue to campaign on the WCA and its delivery. We will tell it how it is and have signed a ‘no gagging’ clause. 

DR UK offers training and consultancy to many organisations in order to improve disabled people’s experience. Recent examples include the Quakers, Sainsburys, NHS Employers and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.      

Any surplus made from this work will go into providing independent information and advice to disabled people. Last year over a million disabled people accessed our information on issues from PIP to Access to Work.   

See also Why Disability Rights UK is providing training for fit-to-work assessments - Phil Friend Guardian article – 28 January 2015