Arts Council of Wales and National Museums Wales Widening Engagement Research Project
The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) and the National Museum Wales (NMW) have recognised that “…despite targeted initiatives, we are not reaching as deeply into communities who face the greatest disadvantage as we would wish. We have more to do to ensure equality of opportunity across our communities” (Widening Engagement Tender Brief, July 2020). In response to this acknowledgment they have contracted myself and other colleagues such as Jonny Cotsen (D/deaf community), Mary Allen (non-verbal people with cognitive impairments), Richie Turner (who I recently worked with on the arts access card feasibility study for the UK) and Lyndy Cooke (our project manager).
The term “disabled” in the context of our research covers people who self-define as D/deaf or otherwise sensory impaired, as neurodiverse, as physically impaired or as having a learning difficulty or cognitive impairment and who experience socio-economic barriers related to their impairments.
ACW and NMW need to know what disabled people’s organisations, disability support organisations and individual disabled people themselves have to say about engaging in creative cultural activity, and what support might look like if they’re to be enabled to do this? They are seeking to better understand the interests, ambitions, frustrations of those who, for whatever reason, either choose to believe that the arts “aren’t for them” and have chosen not to use National Museums Wales as a resource, or who have bee excluded and unable to attend, participate or work in the arts and cultural heritage sectors throughout Wales.
ACW and NMW have recognised that as public bodies in Wales they aren’t able to reach out in the same way we can through our networks and extensive experience in working in the fields of equality and diversity for many years; specifically with D/deaf and disabled people.
During the next month or so myself and my colleagues will be running a series of engagement and consultation activities (ranging from Zoom one to one interviews, focus groups either face-to-face or online and online surveys) that seek to identify why someone feels excluded, why they are excluded and what can ACW and NMGW do to remove that isolation and barriers to attendance and participation?
We are especially keen to talk to those disabled people who never go to arts related events or visit the National Museums Wales due to no knowledge of available events, a lack of support or because of access restrictions (or other reasons).
Initially we wish to engage and consult with you as a disabled people’s organisation, but we also need your help in identifying individuals, who are either members of your organisation or who you support directly with your services, to take part in 121 interviews or focus group discussions (online).
This is an amazing opportunity for the voices of disabled people to be properly heard as we will be feeding back directly to the Trustees and Directors of the Arts Council of Wales and the National Museum Wales, in an attempt to open up access to the arts and cultural heritage sectors to all disabled people. We also recognise that the current COVID19 pandemic means that many disabled people are still shielding and most of us are concerned about returning to locations such as arts venues and museums (with large crowds of people). These concerns need to be reflected in any future programmes and engagement initiatives.
It would be greatly appreciated if you could complete this survey for organisations. The link to the organisation survey is here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/LXPCGVQ and then also circulate the survey for individual disabled people who are either your members or are those receiving support services from your organisation.
The link for survey of disabled individuals is here:
Moreover, if you could also circulate a survey aimed at carers of disabled people, for example family members and professional support service workers, that would also be greatly appreciated. The link for the carers survey is here:
We will be back in touch regarding the 121 interviews, focus group sessions and how to anyone can submit a creative response to this survey in a few weeks’ time (as we recognise many disabled people cannot easily participate in online surveys and we wish to ensure nobody is digitally excluded), but if you have any suggestions of individual disabled people that you know would be willing to take part in further discussions please can you put us in touch with them (subject to their permission of course).
If you have any questions about this post, our surveys or the work we are undertaking do please get back in touch with me as soon as possible.
Thank you for your support,
Important Updates on PIP
This is a message sent from DWP as an update regarding PIP.
I hope you’re keeping well in these very strange times.
You will be aware that we have been making a number of temporary changes in PIP to ensure we continue to provide the support that people need and allow safe access to our services. Things have been moving quickly as we have responded to the challenges of Covid-19. We thought it might be helpful to summarise a few key changes that have been made as a result of the crisis.
- New claims continue to be processed.
- We have extended the deadline to return the PIP2 to three months.
- Change of circumstances continue to be processed. If someone has a change in their needs, they should notify us immediately so that we can ensure that they have the correct level of award.
- All face-to-face assessments have been suspended. Where possible and in line with usual processes, a paper-based assessment will be undertaken. If needed, a telephone-based assessment will be conducted. Both providers have been conducting telephone assessments for the last few weeks.
- It is now possible for individuals to receive and return the PIP2 form electronically after the initial call to the Department. Supporting evidence can also be submitted electronically, at the same time as the PIP2.
- All awards that are coming up for a review soon will be automatically extended. Payments will continue and we will be in touch about a review in due course.
- For anyone who is currently claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and who has been invited to claim PIP, no action is needed now. DLA payments will continue and we will be in touch in the future to discuss the claim to PIP.
Finally, we are particularly keen to gather any feedback on the telephone-based assessments to understand how it is working in practice. Next week we plan to send you a short, informal survey asking for your views. It would be immensely helpful if you’re able to share any insight with us please.
We will continue to keep you updated with regard to any further changes as soon as possible.
With very best wishes,
DWP | PIP Stakeholders | www.gov.uk/dwp
News from ResponsABLE Assistance
ResponsABLE assistance’s FURSA project pilot has been awarded funding from the Welsh government. Meaning ‘Freedom’ in Swahili, Fursa is an initiative to assist disabled people to create their own sustainable enterprises in rural Kenya.
In partnership with the Kibwezi Disabled Peoples Organisation (KDPO) and Project Co-ordinator Dr. Cecilia W Nyaga we are undertaking a pilot starting January 2020 in order for three enterprises in this rural district of Kenya to be ready to trade by 2021.
Prior to trading, enterprises funded by our Fursa initiative will have been assisted in areas necessary to trade independently and compliant with local regulations etc. We understand the therapeutic, financial and community benefits enterprise can provide to people with disabilities. Fursa will then fund the enterprises start-up.
Since our explicatory visit to Kenya in 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7aUNlDLhiQ a film put together by volunteers Vaughan and Katie upon their return to the UK) we have been partnering with the Kibwezi Disabled Peoples Organisation and Dr. Nyaga to improve the lives of disadvantaged disabled people in this region where social welfare as we know it simply does not exist. Fursa will provide the opportunity for the creation of correctly structured enterprises to encourage sustainable independent futures. Initially three enterprises will be funded and it is our intention to look into expanding our FURSA initiative to other regions in Kenya and beyond.
On Sunday 15th December from 7pm in Potters Newport there will be a ResponsABLE assistance benefit evening. I have attached a poster and tickets are available from me or at the door. It will be an enjoyable night of live musical styles so if you or any of your contacts are into coming along it would be amazing. Feel free to spread the word.
Donations are always welcome in order for us to continue assisting people with disabilities in disastorious situations http://www.responsableassistance.org/donations.html
New Concessionary Travel Cards in Wales
From Wednesday 11th September, Transport for Wales are working with all Welsh local councils and Welsh Government to roll out new-style Concessionary Travel Cards by the end of December 2019. These cards will replace the current green ‘bus passes’ across Wales.
Residents are advised to apply for their new-style card in plenty of time before the end of the year to ensure they can continue to receive the benefits of concessionary travel. The old-style cards will not be recognised by electronic readers on buses after 31 December 2019.
The new-style cards offer the same free travel rights and benefits as the current cards. The new cards are designed so that they can work as part of an integrated travel network in the future.
In order to re-apply for the new-style travel cards, you will need the following information:
- The 19-digit card number printed on the front of your (green) bus pass
- Your date of birth
- The postcode your current card is registered to
- Your National Insurance number, if you’re over 16, which is on pension statements, disability statements or payslips
You can apply for a new-style card from the Transport for Wales website ( https://tfw.gov.wales/travelcards). Due to exceptionally large amounts of visitors in mid-September, the website may be down. You may wish to wait a day or so before applying for your card. If you need help with your application, you can call 0300 303 4240 – though you will not be able to apply over the phone.
Measuring the Mountain (2019)
Help us build a picture of how social care feels for the people involved in it.
During 2019 we want to collect stories from people who are carers and people who need care and support services, so that we can understand the impact of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. We want to work with you and other people and organisations across Wales to engage with the diverse individuals and communities that access care and support services, and those that provide essential caring to their loved ones.
By working with organisations like yours, or ones you know, we will create a network that supports people to share their stories, enabling everyone who has a story to share, to be able to.
We will share what we find out from these stories with Welsh Government, social care professionals, project partners and people in Wales. From the stories, we will take key issues and examine them at a second Citizens’ Jury in summer 2020.
If you are part of an organisation, if you have a story to share, or if you know others who do, get involved in Measuring the Mountain and help us understand what social care is really like for the people involved in it.
Disability Wales Annual Conference and AGM
DW members, don’t delay. Book your place today!
- Deputy Minister & Chief Whip: Jane Hutt AM
Topic: Welsh Government commitments on disability rights and equality – Framework for Action on Disability: the Right to Independent Living
- Future Generations Commissioner for Wales: Sophie Howe
Topic: What does the Wellbeing and Future Generations Act (2015) mean for disabled people – using the Act to create an inclusive society for present and future generations of disabled people
- Guardian Journalist and Author: Dr Frances Ryan
Topic: themes from her book Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People
- Deputy Director, Public Law Project: Sara Lomri
Topic: Public Law and Accountability
Interested? Book your place now to avoid disappointment.
To book your place click on the link.
If you have any difficulty booking through Eventbrite please telephone the DW office on 029 20887325 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Article about GL100 Services Founder
This article about GL100 Services founder Trevor Palmer was recently published in the South Wales Argus.
Measuring the Mountain
Understanding Experiences and Social Care in Wales
Measuring the Mountain is an all-Wales project evaluating the impact of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014. It is a collaboration between the public sector, third sector and, most importantly, the people who live here.
Funded by Welsh Government, the project will collect stories from people with recent experience of social care in order to build a picture of what social care feels like for the individuals involved.
The Measuring the Mountain team hope to work with organisations across Wales, both to let people know about the project and to help create a network of Listeners. Listeners will support people to share their stories and will play a vital role in ensuring that everyone who has a story is able to share it. Listeners can be staff or volunteers: volunteers will be able to join Spice’s Time Credits network and earn Time Credits for the stories they collect.
If you have a story to share, or if you know others who do, please get involved.
Measuring the Mountain will share their findings with Welsh Government, social care professionals, participants and, through their website and presentations, with people in Wales. In September, the project will host a Citizens’ Jury at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea, to look more closely at key issues that arise from the stories. Members of the public will examine a policy question, draw conclusions and present their recommendations.
Further information about all aspects of the project, including how to be a Listener, share a story or get involved in the Citizens’ Jury can be found on their website www.mtm.wales (English) or www.mym.cymru (Welsh)
Or you can contact Katie, the project manager – kcooke -AT- interlinkrct -DOT- org -DOT- uk / 07964 407 739
You can also call David Williams on 01633 766311 or 0793 9003131 to capture your story.
Celebrating D/deaf and disabled women and girls across Wales
Event sponsored by Joyce Watson AM
We invite you to join us to celebrate #IAmEmbolden, a year-long project, celebrating the successes of D/deaf and disabled women and girls in Wales.
In the year running up to the centenary celebrations in 2018 of women obtaining the right to vote, Disability Wales, with funding from Spirit of 2012 and the Fawcett Society, is highlighting the achievements of Welsh D/deaf and disabled women and girls, now and in history.
The event will take place at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay on Tuesday 13 March 2018 at 11:45 until 13:30.
The event will include a photography exhibition featuring portraits of our 8 shortlisted candidates along with images and interviews captured during the project.
Shortlisted nominees will be presented with an award to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to breaking down barriers for D/deaf and disabled women and girls.
We would be delighted if you were able to attend and join us at our celebration.
You can register for the event here