They don’t give ATOS!

Many disabled people who have been directly affected by the ATOS Work Capability Assessment have been trying to share their experiences by coming together on Face Book, on blogs and on web sites.

But several blog creators have already been threatened with legal action unless they closed down their blog. The most recent of these being the ATOS Victims Group blog.

And from personal experience I know how vulnerable the Face Book sites are to attack, as I’ve had several of mine hacked and then closed down. Other people are reporting comments being erased from their pages and in some cases mis-information being inserted which appear to come from the account holders. Protest groups like Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) have been busy backing up their Face Book files in anticipation of being hacked and shut down in this way.

Some disabled led web sites are also under attack and a couple have resorted to hosting their web sites off-shore (through a proxy server) which makes them more difficult to hack. These sites include the Black Triangle Protest Group, a group dedicated to the memory of the life of Edinburgh based disabled poet and author, Paul Reekie, who, after being notified by the Department for Work and Pensions that his benefits had been cancelled as the result of a Work Capability Assessment, tragically took his own life.

The focus for these cyber attacks seemed to be centred around comments directed against ATOS, the company commissioned by the government to carry out work capability assessments against benefits claimants. You’ll recall a recent Crippen blog (‘Sledge Hammer Tactics’) in which I addressed some of the issues around the amount of money being thrown at this project by the government.

So, how do we go about collecting all of this hard evidence from people who have been wrongly assessed by ATOS? It seems a simple enough task, especially as there must now be hundreds of disabled people who have been abused of their rights in this way. Such evidence will prove that ATOS are not ‘fit for purpose’ and should be removed from the whole benefits process as soon as possible.

I do remember hearing on the grapevine that a couple of the bigger charities were addressing this issue. Does anyone have any information on this? And I know that Brighton based Green MP Caroline Lucas has been acting on behalf of several of her constituants who have been wrongly assessed by ATOS. Are there other MPs doing similiar work

I’m happy for this blog to become a sign posting facility if there are people out there collecting this evidence, and other disabled people needing to locate them with experiences of their own. Leave your comment in the appropriate section of this blog or, if it feels safer, send me an email to ‘daveluptoncartoons@live.co.uk’ and mark the subject heading ATOS experiences. I’ll be sure to pass the information along.

Crippen Cartoons

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