We’re learning British Sign Language so our deaf colleagues aren’t excluded

A smiling woman talks using BSL to a colleague in her office

If you ask any of my colleagues at Sense what drives them, they will tell you how important inclusion is, and how we can ensure on a daily basis that no one we support is left isolated, alone or unable to fulfil their potential.

At Sense we pride ourselves on being communication experts. By unlocking barriers to communication, we ensure everyone enjoys meaningful lives – and this applies equally, both to the individuals we support, and our staff and volunteers. That’s why, as part of our Equality and Diversity Week this week at Sense, we’re proud to be launching an online learning module so all our staff can learn British Sign Language (BSL).

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The looming crisis facing disabled people and their families

The back of two women talking on the edge of a bed

“It’s very stressful. I find myself hoping she passes away before me. No parent should feel like this.” These words were spoken by Mark, who cares for his disabled daughter, who has complex needs. Mark lives with the fear and worry that his daughter’s care and support needs are so complex, and that his local social services are under such pressures, that should he not be able to support his daughter, then no one would.

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Sense responds to Government’s disability employment announcement

A woman pushing a trolley in a pharmacy

Sense has responded to the government announcement that they plan to get one million more disabled people in work over the next ten years.

According to ONS figures, disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. About 80% of non-disabled people are in work compared with just under 50% of disabled people.

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The Government has delivered a social care snub to disabled people

A woman holds hands with a person and looks up towards them

By focussing the long awaited social care green paper on one group, older people, it will be impossible to create a truly sustainable system. The Government’s green paper should take into account the broad range of people who access social care and their differing needs in its search for a long term solution.

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Time for parties to commit to social care

Lady caring for an older manFollowing Theresa May’s surprise announcement that we would be having a snap general election, all the political parties have jostled for air time, trying to capture the public’s imagination with their key messages.

So far, Brexit has remained top of the agenda.

However, there are vital domestic issues facing the country as well, top of my list would be the crisis-stricken social care sector.

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Why the ESA WRAG cut is another barrier to helping more disabled people into work

Man wearing deafblind sash in a train stationLast year, in what we could only describe as a bleak day for disabled people, the Government announced plans to reduce the financial support by around £30 a week for new recipients of the Employment Support Allowance Work Related Activity Group (ESA WRAG). This change took place from 1 April 2017.

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Spring Budget 2017: Short-term relief for the social care sector

A woman supporting a man with a saucepan

The Chancellor of the Exchequer certainly made us wait, but at long last it seems like the government has recognised the true scale of the issues facing social care today.

Over the years, spending reductions have taken their toll, nudging the state of adult social care finances towards tipping point. The latest figures estimated the care sector was due to begin the next financial year with a deficit of at least £1 billion, an unsustainable situation which experts warned could lead to its collapse.

So it was with a great sense of relief that we welcomed the government’s commitment to spend an additional £2 billion on social care over the next three years, with The Chancellor guaranteeing £1 billion for immediate use in order to stabilise the sector for the next year. This sum of money should effectively see the sector through the next twelve months and divert the demise of the sector which many believed was imminent.

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It’s now or never for social care

Woman assisting man in shop

Social care is on the edge of a financial cliff, with years of cuts and under investment impacting on the stability of the sector, calling its long-term sustainability into question.

Which is why, ahead of the upcoming Spring Budget, we’re calling on the Government to take action by immediately delivering the substantial cash injection, of at least £1 billion, needed to prevent the collapse of the adult social care sector.

In the short term, this will not only bring some much needed stability to the sector, but more importantly, will offer some relief to the thousands of people across the country currently worried that the vital social care services they rely on are in jeopardy.

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