Hidden amongst the noise of political chaos in the Houses of Parliament was the loss of yet another Minister for Disabled People

One person holds another person's hand.

And so ends another week of political chaos in the Houses of Parliament. Hidden amongst the noise was the loss of yet another Minister for Disabled People. Sarah Newton, who had held the position since November 2017, resigned her post in order to vote how she felt led, in one of the many Brexit votes that have taken place this week. 

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#MKruns262 update no. 2: Interviewing Sense CEO, Richard Kramer

Image shows a person running from behind, wearing a red coat on the ground. In the background is the skyline of London

The following blog was written by Marcel in his monthly #MKruns262 series. He interviewed our CEO, Richard Kramer and talks about his biggest fitness challenge yet — running the London Marathon 2019 for Sense.

You can find the original blog here.

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Peggy, Margaret and Jessica – three Sense pioneers

Sense is a unique national organisation. It serves people with complex  disabilities, including deafblindness, and has developed unrivalled skills and experience in this area.

But it has also been shaped by broader changes and developments in society – such as changing attitudes towards disability and the role of women.

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Is combining PIP and ESA assessments really a good idea?

Amber Rudd speaking

Yesterday the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Amber Rudd, announced that the Department are looking to combine the assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) that takes place under Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit into one.

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There was a connection felt by the runners, the people being supported, staff and me

(#TeamSense London Marathon runners before they took on their 5km around Finsbury Park)

Last weekend, I went to the London Marathon training day, with some of the people we support from TouchBase South East. This April, #TeamSense will be taking on the 2019 London Marathon, to help us support children and adults with complex disabilities, including those who are deafblind, to communicate and experience the world.

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Have your say on new learning disabilities and autism training for health & social care staff

Person looking at a screen with their finger pressing on a touchpad

At Sense, we believe everyone with complex disabilities should be able to access good quality and person-centered health and social care services. An essential part of this is ensuring that health and care staff know how to support people with complex needs when they meet or care for them.

There are really simple steps that can make health and social care accessible, such as allowing more time for someone to understand what’s been said to them, or identifying that someone might have a learning disability or autism and considering how best to support them to feel safe and communicate.

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Benefits sanctions – Another area of Universal Credit that isn’t working for disabled people

Two people linking arms. Boy on the right has a hearing aid in.

Last November, after extensive consultation and research, the Work and Pensions Select Committee released their report on Benefit Sanctions under Universal Credit, including a number of recommendations for government. On Monday, we saw the government respond to this, telling us which recommendations they were going to accept and those that they wouldn’t. Both the committee report and the government response show us yet again that the government still have a long way to go in making Universal Credit work for disabled people. Continue reading “Benefits sanctions – Another area of Universal Credit that isn’t working for disabled people”

A year of When I’m Gone

Keith (the father) is sitting in a chair in the background and Geordie a young boy sits playing with a spring toy

Today marks the one year anniversary of our When I’m Gone campaign.

There are approximately 1.7 million disabled adults being cared for by family or friends who provide support day-in and day-out, with little opportunity or time to have a break. As many of these family carers get older, they might begin to think about “What will happen to my loved one when I’m gone?” And for many, the answer is unclear. This is why we launched When I’m Gone in February 2018 – to help disabled people and their families plan for the future and give them much-needed peace of mind.

As part of the campaign we spoke to many families and disabled people and from the beginning, we found that a great deal of them didn’t know where to start when it came to planning for the future or felt overwhelmed by the prospect of thinking what to plan for and look towards. Worryingly, we found that one third of councils do not know how many disabled people who live in their area rely on friends and family for their care and support. Additionally only a quarter of councils routinely support families to make contingency plans for future care options.

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Band of brothers and sisters

Little girl climbing up frame

Children who have a disabled sibling may have to learn to put their own needs on hold to some extent – but the Sense Siblings Weekend was just for them.When the children and young people arrive for the siblings’ weekend some look a little wary and there are even a few tears; others give barely a backward glance and get stuck right in away, rushing over to the painting activity and making instant new friends in the way that only children can.

They have all come away for a weekend of fun, friendship and adventure at a PGL centre near Swindon – and what they have in common is that they all have a brother or sister who has a disability. Having a sibling with special needs can be a mixed role, and whilst Sense’s experience is that many will grow up to be particularly kind, thoughtful and mature people – and love their disabled sibling to bits – they can face challenges too.

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National Storytelling Week

Sense 6 word story competition. National Storytelling Week on orange backgroundIntroduction

Welcome to the storytelling competition with a twist. Legend has it that Ernest Hemmingway, while having lunch with his friends, placed a bet that he could create a story in just six words. While the group were placing their money in the centre of the table, Hemmingway wrote his story on a napkin. He then passed the napkin around the table and proceeded to collect his winnings. His friends were in shock as they passed the napkin which read:

‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’

This is a challenge to anyone and everyone expanding on Hemmingway’s initial idea. Who among you can tell the best six word story using any format? These stories can be told in braille, sign, pictures or any form of communication. Have a look below to see how you can get involved.

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