DR UK launches UNCRPD evidence report in House of Lords

Wed,8 March 2017

Launch of Disabled People’s Human Rights Reports: our experiences in Britain today

Event hosted by DR UK ambassador Baroness Jane Campbell on 9 March, 1.30 - 3.30, Committee Room G, House of Lords for our report to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

DR UK CEO Liz Sayce and Baroness Jane Campbell

In 2017, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will examine the UK, to track how well the UK is doing in progressively realising our rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This event allows disabled people’s organisations to launch the shadow reports they have produced, based on disabled people’s experience in Britain today.

A few days after this launch disabled people will be heading to Geneva to present the reports to the UN Committee, to help them select the key issues to focus on when they examine the UK later in 2017.

Speakers include parliamentarians and organisations who have compiled shadow reports: Liz Sayce, from Disability Rights UK, and Ellen Clifford from Reclaiming our Futures Alliance.

Select quotes from case studies within the reports

Disabled actors read moving testimonies taken from UNCRPD report

Article 7 – Children with disabilities


A 'simple' drop in DLA & PIP isn't that simple in the reality of the disabled person and their family. The effects are quick and in many ways devastating. In the process of my fight to ensure my son kept receiving high care rate DLA, I neglected my duties as a mother and a partner, and neglected my rapidly failing health. In the meantime the devastation it has had on me financially is pretty unbearable.

I Constantly worry about  being able to cover the bills, buy essential foodstuffs and simple cleaning supplies. Needing a grant to cover school a uniform is degrading enough, now uniform bought, the worry of affording essential school items, trips, etc just goes off the map. I am no longer able to care for my son (to an extent of course) especially if he is ill etc. I feel as if I've totally failed my son & family. On top of all this, I’m also worrying (scared witless) as to what my award will be cut to when it is time renew my own DLA.

Article 9 – Accessibility


The lack of accessible/adapted housing needs to be addressed as it costs far more to put a disabled person into a nursing home. Also there is the human cost as everyone wants to keep their independence. I was assessed by Wrekin Housing Trust in 2010 and was put in the urgent category for an adapted bungalow. Even though I was excluded from certain properties due to my age (I am now 50) I worked my way patiently to the top of the list by 2014. Then the housing trust cancelled the scheme and said I was not allowed on the waiting list because I am not an existing tenant or a pensioner.

Adapted housing only exists in social rental sector so I am stuck in a 2 bed semi which is not suitable for a stair lift or ramped access. I have a chronic neurological condition, which has led to severe muscular atrophy and lack of sensation below my knees and elbows, plus an above the knee amputation (with no prosthetic). For the last 6 years I have had to access my property on my bum and pull myself up and down the stairs on my bum, which is very painful. I asked the housing trust, my MP and the ministers for disabled people and housing to ensure that adapted social housing is allocated to those in most medical need. They all refused and also refused to help me. I am now faced with being forced into a nursing home at huge expense in the not too distant future even though I could live independently in an adapted property.

Article 13 – Access to justice


I have lost two jobs through sickness absence caused by my disability. In my last job I requested reduced hours under the Equality Act and followed up on it 12 times! Eventually, I was off work for two weeks and was dismissed. Discrimination law is complex and to pursue redress has cost me over ten thousand pounds I don’t have. It has been hugely stressful and there is no way I could have taken a claim without support, although this is what the justice system expects one to do! I am now in debt and may not win my tribunal claims as I will have to self-represent. I declared my disability on my application forms and during my employment made them aware of a new diagnosis, but no reasonable adjustments made at all!

Article 14 – Liberty and security of the person


‘If like me you have a so-called ‘mental disorder’ you can be compulsorily detained and forcibly injected even when you could make the decision yourself’.

Article 18 – Liberty of movement and nationality


From July this year the DWP have introduced a new law restricting time spent abroad for anyone receiving housing benefit or pension credit to a maximum continuous absence from the UK of 4 consecutive weeks. For the last several years our two daughters have paid for us to spend 5 or 6 weeks of the cold winter months in the Canaries. The sunshine and warmth help my wife and I to suffer less pain. This law violates our human rights.

Article 20 – Personal mobility


I am unable to 'just get on a train'. I have to book in advance to arrange a wheelchair and member of staff. The wheelchairs are aged, and it's a really horrible experience. The adverse impact is that the stress, strain and embarrassment means that I have no desire to go on a train. Which means that I am excluded from days out.

Article 27 – Work and employment


I was given notice after developing a long term condition. I initially tried to reduce my hours from a five day to a three day week (something I considered reasonable as it is often granted to women returning from maternity leave) but this was apparently not a 'reasonable adjustment'. I do believe that if I had been able to reduce my hours I might still be at work instead of claiming benefit for over four years. I suspect that many employers take 'reasonable adjustments' to mean a new chair or different sort of keyboard rather than considering the substantial changes that a disability can make to someone’s life.


I recently became disabled. I reported this to my company who stated they do not have to do anything about my disability if it interferes with the running of their business.

Article 28 – Adequate standard of living and social protection


Financial Equality is an issue for many disabled people. When in work disabled people are often employed at the lower end of the pay spectrum and if unemployed the breadth and depth of the cuts to welfare over the past 6 years has resulted in extreme financial hardship. On a personal level this now means my whole personal independence payment is used to pay my shortfall in rent, bedroom tax and council tax; this forces me to pay for the essential extras I need as a result of my disability out of my Employment and Support Allowance. As a consequence, I have to decide between eating or having heat; this and the accompanying stress has a further negative affect on my physical and mental health.

Article 19 – Right to live independently and to be included in the community

Comments at our National AGM

‘I and many people with learning difficulties are forced to live with people we don’t choose to live with’

‘That happens to us, people with dementia, too’