‘This is a fight to the death’: Rethinking Disability in a Hostile Climate Conference 27/9/12 ~ Key actions, messages and decisions


Supported by Black Triangle Campaign and our sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

RE: ‘Rethinking Disability in a Hostile Climate’ national conference of DPO’s at Inclusion London Thursday September 27th 2012

Key actions, messages and decisions from the ‘Re-thinking disability equality policy and practice’ conference on 27 September 2012  

We are asking disabled people and Deaf and disabled people’s organisations (DDPOs) who are interested in turning the conference messages and actions into reality to sign up to the areas of work they are interested in contributing to. 

See separate Sign Up below on this post for details about how to do this.  

Key messages 

Working better together:  

  • Need a UK and regional co-ordinated approach that brings DDPOs and activists together.  

  • The movement is currently fragmented 

  • Need to create space to think, debate and discuss our views and positions and we need to do this carefully and sensitively so as not to create further divisions / fragmentation.  

  • Need to reach more disabled people and politicise them 

  • Need to be making better use of artists – they are good at communicating, at raising difficult questions, and at exploring creative alternatives. 

  • Need to be working with academics: using their knowledge and research. 

  • Need to pro actively work to be more inclusive and reflect the experiences and priorities of disabled people who experience double discrimination 

  • Need to share our skills, knowledge, intelligence and tools 

  • Need to use social media to do this 

  • Need to make use of the latest IT so we can meaningfully include active participation of people who cannot be physically present at an event, demo, meeting 

  • DDPOs and activists need to ‘own’ the need the need to work together, reach out and politicise and everyone do what they can to contribute    

Our thinking:  

  • Need to set out what we want to see – what does our welfare system, what does our ‘better world’ look like? We need to be not only fending off threats, but working towards something. 

  • Need to refine / reinvigorate the social model i.e. should it / can it include ill health? How can it address pan impairment issues? 

  • Need to respond to the bio psychosocial model threat 

  • Need to address Jenny Morris 5 challenges: making a moral rather than business case for disability equality; including ill health in the social model, need for co-production in welfare and employment; need to argue for the principle of reasonable adjustment for welfare provision rather than safety net; need to campaign for organisations not dependent on the profit motive 

  • Need to understand economics in order to better challenge ‘there is no alternative to austerity’ argument and to challenge capitalism 

  • Need to ensure the involvement, coordination and relevance of the different single issue campaigns i.e. Not Dead Yet and inclusive education 

  • Need to think beyond the cuts. We need to address the big picture issues including: right to life (bioethics), values, rights, role of state.  

  • Need to address and respond to the dangers of the neo liberal , corporate / capitalist view of society  

  • Need to space to debate ‘what is our different vision of society’? 

  • Need to be more pro active in setting our own agenda   


  • This is a fight to the death 

  • Need to build on the successes of DPAC and direct action over the last year 

  • Need to use all campaigning tools available including: legal action, direct action, lobbying, next General Election  

  • Need a disabled peoples manifesto to lobby and campaign on over next 2 years 

  • Set up a disabled people’s party? 

  • Need a DPAC group in every area 

  • Need to engage and get DDPOs involved in campaigns  

  • Need a media strategy to change public opinion and tell our stories 

  • Need to build on ATOS work and make companies / govt ‘toxic’. 

  • Need militancy and direct action  

  • Need to ensure our campaigning is inclusive and enables everyone to take part and contribute. 

  • Essential to build alliances with other resistance movements outside the movement including:  Trade unions, UK Uncut etc   

Actions and decisions:  

  1. TUC march on 20 Oct. Need to: 

  • Lobby TUC to get a speaker at the march/rally 

  • Lobby TUC so disabled people our at the front of the march 

  • Need to ensure as many disabled people / DDPOs as possible join the march 

  1. Independent Living Fund. Need to: 

  • Get as many people as possible to fill out govt ‘on-line’ consultation which ends on 10 Oct. Go to www.inclusionlondon.co.uk for information and advice 

  • Get as many people as possible to feed into DPAC ILF position paper 

  • Get as many people as possible to lobby their Cllrs and MPs on the issue over Oct and Nov.  

  1.  Agreed to set up a collaborative UK network of DDPOs and activists. Network will need to : 

  • Develop and agree a terms of reference including: membership, how the network will communicate, consult and take decisions  

  • Develop a disabled peoples manifesto that set’s out the network’s position on key issues to use to campaign and lobby on over 2013 

  • Develop a campaign strategy for 2013 inc: setting up a DPAC in every area; agreeing general election approach i.e. setting up a disabled peoples party, getting disabled people to stand for office, lobbying Labour party etc 

  • Develop a media strategy


    Sign up to get involved:  

    If you want to want to help turn the ‘Re-thinking disability equality policy and practice’ conference messages and actions into reality please ‘sign up’ by emailing:  Tracey.Lazard@inclusionlondon.co.uk   

    Please indicate which of the following specific areas of work/development you want to contribute to:  

    1. Setting up the network   

    1. Developing our thinking and a manifesto: 

    1. Collating work on rights/ charters / manifestos up to now 

    2. Re-fining our thinking about the social model 

    3. Challenging neo-liberal thinking 

    4. What is our vision? 

    5. Jenny Morris 5 challenges 

    6. Independent Living 

    7. The big picture issues incl: right to life, values, rights, role of state 

    8. Anything else(please specify) 


    1. Working together: 


    1. Making best use of IT / social media  

    2. Skills and resources swap: what can you offer? 

    3. Engaging new people in the network 


    4. Anything else? (please specify)   

    Thank you



2 thoughts on “‘This is a fight to the death’: Rethinking Disability in a Hostile Climate Conference 27/9/12 ~ Key actions, messages and decisions

  1. Paul Davidson says:

    Hi All. And about time too. This my dream for many a year.

    We need a strong new Union/Political party ‘Nationally’. U.K.Wide. to fight for the right’s of all people living with any form of Disability not just ‘THE MOST’ That Government use to turn us against each other. all fighting for our own little group. How about ‘UNITE AND STAND PARTY? Then again some cant stand would the word stand Offend?

    This needs to be U.K. Wide with the internet and social media we are all togetherin an instant no matter where we physically live. could we have a ‘Facebook /Twitter Branch so to speak. to help get us all together share news and ideas raise concerne’s give mutual support.

    How about a Bad Service provider watch and get Legal people to fight test cases. Legal Aid does not work I can give much proof of this. and prove institutional abuse exhist’s. which is part of the problem’s we all face.


  2. Humanity2012 says:

    We Need the Abolition of All Political Parties as they only Divide the Country
    and it is Toeing the Party Line that Results in Bad Diktats being Railroaded
    through Parliament by the MP Sheep There

    We Certainly Need More Demonstrations and the Issue of Human Rights and
    Social Justice For the Poor and Vulnerable being Pushed into the Centre of
    the P0litical Agenda

    Constitutional Protection For the Welfare Benefits of the Poor and Vulnerable
    the Abolition of the Work Capability Assessment an End to Media Demonisation
    of the Poor and Vulnerable and Billions For Welfare Not the Evil of Warfare in

    Essential a Decent Government in Office Now and Forever Not another Clique
    of Capitalist Roadsters

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