The All Inclusive PA School Goes Live in Basingstoke In September


The All Inclusive PA School, backed by Hampshire County Council, will open its doors in September for its first intake of PAs; the 10-module course has been developed not only for new PAs but existing PAs who have been following the vocation for some time where there has never before been an opportunity to gain a recognised PA qualification. The All Inclusive PA School is NOT an arrogant attempt to train with a “we-know-what’s-needed, we’re-the-experts” attitude, but we ARE providing basic training that allows the disabled employer to concentrate on the training specific to the role; also our training course instils the PA with self confidence to fulfil his/her role.

This is an exciting opportunity because we recognise the importance of PAs as the vehicle to facilitate the Personalisation agenda to its fullest potential.  All Inclusive’s Managing Director who has Cerebral Palsy has been using PAs for about 10 years and knows from personal experience how invaluable they are; he has masterminded All Inclusives PA School and long-since recognised that we need to give PAs a “toolbox” of skills to approach the job professionally, and also inspire them with  confidence to adapt and work with individuals to facilitate their required solutions.

All Inclusive has embraced the full spirit of Personalisation to produce a service that will create an everlasting difference to the provision of care and support to disabled people by providing them with a vehicle to Live Life and not the Label. The All Inclusive PA School will deliver a wide-ranging basic training in ten modules to become a Personal Assistant (PA): this is much more than just a career, you are assisting disabled people get much more out of life.  This is not just about personal care – this is about possibly helping disabled people work in the voluntary sector, gain paid employment, enjoy hobbies/interests, or take part in social events and community activities.

Much of PA-ing is around flexible working hours, so it suits a wide range of people: those retired who wish to boost their pensions, university students and single parent families who want to earn more and of course, those that want a complete career change.  If you are a “people-person” and would like a holistic career where no two days are the same, then becoming a PA is for you!  There is already an army of PAs who have been doing the job very well for years but with no recognised PA training course, having to rely on training designed for carers.  All Inclusive wants to create good practice within the PA profession. We also recognise that existing PAs won’t require the whole 10 module course and we have priced the modules individually as well, for this reason.

The All Inclusive PA School also has a comprehensive database for the PAs we train, as well as existing Professional PAs and Care Assistants who want to be employed by disabled individuals.  All PAs and Care Assistants will undertake CRB checks before they are added to the database. All Inclusive matches the support need requirements of our disabled clients advising them of suitable candidates for interview: upon successful recruitment of a candidate we will then charge them a one-off Placement Fee.

Iain Speed, Managing Director of All Inclusive Disability Consultants CIC, says “As a service user myself, I recognise the need for change to a more dynamic and imaginative system.  Under Personalisation disabled and older people need to employ staff with confidence.  All Inclusive will produce a potential workforce that is confident and have appropriate training.  Our disabled clients can choose candidates knowing they won’t have  to repeatedly give basic training, but get on with their LIFE.

You can find detailed information about all the services offered by All Inclusive at, along with links to our partners and other companies associated with disability.  Keep up-to-date with our latest news by following us on Facebook and Twitter (links available on the website) and use our ‘Contact Us’ page to request further information or to find out more about us.

All Inclusive is available to any organisation. For further information contact Iain Speed at All Inclusive Disability Consultants CIC, Old School House, Main Road, Kingsley, Hampshire, GU35 9ND, email or telephone 01420 488885.

Government spending cut raises threat of repossessions

Tens of thousands of disabled people will be at risk of having their homes repossessed because the government is cutting spending on a mortgage interest support scheme, according to a national housing body.

The chancellor, George Osborne, announced in his emergency budget in June that the government would cut funding available through the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme, which helps many homeowners on income-related benefits.

From October, the rate paid will be cut from 6.08 per cent to the Bank of England average mortgage rate, which is currently about 3.67 per cent.

But the National Housing Federation (NHF), which represents housing associations in England, said this would mean many of the 64,000 disabled people who receive support through the scheme would be at risk of “plunging into arrears”.

About 5,000 of these disabled people – many of whom have high support needs – have used the scheme to obtain niche mortgages to pay for shared ownership homes provided by housing associations.

The federation also fears that many of the building societies that offer these niche mortgages will withdraw the products from the market because the new rates will no longer meet their costs.

David Orr, the federation’s chief executive, said it was “a particularly harsh way” to cut public spending because it would hit thousands of disabled people who would not be able to own a home outright or purchase one through shared ownership in any other way.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was changing the rate because more than 90 per cent of people were currently receiving more than they paid out in mortgage interest every month, which was “unfair to the taxpayer and not a good use of public funds”.

A DWP spokeswoman added: “Using the Bank of England rate will ensure that people still get the help they need with their mortgage interest payments.”

But NHF insisted that many of the disabled people currently receiving support through the scheme pay more than 3.67 per cent on their mortgages and so could be at risk of losing their homes.

Gavin Smart, NHF’s director of research, said the federation was concerned that the DWP did not appear to have carried out a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the spending cut on disabled people.

He said: “We are very concerned that when the rate drops to 3.67 per cent, a significant number of disabled people who use SMI as a way of accessing a secure and sustainable home of their own will be at risk of not being able to meet their repayments and at risk of losing their home.”

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Channel 4’s 2012 launch: Nationwide search for disabled talent

Channel 4 has pledged that at least half of the presenters it uses for its blanket coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics will be disabled people.

It made the promise as it announced initial details of a £500,000 programme to find disabled sports reporters and presenters and develop their skills in readiness for its blanket coverage of the London games in 2012.

Ade Adepitan, the Channel 4 presenter and former Paralympian, said: “I think it’s important to have Paralympians commentating and imparting their knowledge of the Paralympic games.”

Although some of those recruited are likely to be former Paralympians, Channel 4 also wants to identify other disabled “talent”, who could eventually work across “all of Channel 4’s broadcast output”.

Alison Walsh, Channel 4’s disability executive, said the broadcaster had made “a lot of progress” in featuring disabled actors in its drama, as well as disabled people on reality shows such as Location, Location, Location and Big Brother.

But she said: “Presenting talent is the last big hurdle. It is a big launching pad for us to find new and good presenting talent that can have a life beyond the Paralympics.

“We are not talking about parachuting disabled people in just because there’s a quota. It’s a barrier that needs to be broken through.”

And she said it was “key” that Channel 4 kept up its “proper mainstream inclusion of disabled people across other parts of the schedule”.

She added: “I think it’s really important that I keep my foot on the throttle for that.”

The 2012 talent search will be launched later this month.

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Alcoholics not disabled people, says Equality Act guidance

Alcoholics, people with hayfever and those with tendencies to steal or set fires will not be able to claim protection from disability discrimination under the Equality Act, according to new government guidance.

The draft guidance, published this week by the Office for Disability Issues, says that people with disfigurements caused by tattoos or non-medical body piercings should also not be treated as disabled people under the act.

The act defines a disabled person as someone with a “physical or mental impairment” which has a “substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

People with cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis do not have to meet this test and are protected under the act from the moment they are diagnosed, while those certified as blind, sight-impaired or partially-sighted by a consultant ophthalmologist are also automatically protected.

The final version of the guidance will be used by courts and tribunals to decide whether someone is a disabled person protected from discrimination by the act, which became law earlier this year. Implementation of most of the act begins on 1 October.

The draft guidance includes a string of examples of disabled people who would and would not be protected by the act.

For example, a woman with learning difficulties who finds it difficult travelling alone because she often gets lost in slightly unfamiliar areas would be seen to be experiencing a “substantial adverse effect” on her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Other factors that would be seen as having a “substantial adverse effect” on the ability to carry out such activities include “difficulty opening a moderately heavy door” and “persistent difficulty” in remembering the names of family or friends.

But factors that would not be included under the act include “simple clumsiness”, “inability to carry heavy luggage without assistance”, and “inability to sing in tune”.

A consultation on the draft guidance, which applies to England, Scotland and Wales, closes on 31 October 2010. To take part, visit

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Unique access guide to chart the ambitious redevelopment of UK’s leading children’s hospital.

A unique access guide that will empower disabled people to access healthcare with confidence is set to launch this month.

DisabledGo, the UK’s foremost provider of disabled access information, has produced a unique new online guide to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH). The aim of the guide is to provide detailed, accurate information so people can find out more about the access they will find when they come to visit. Put together thanks to sponsorship from GOSH, the DisabledGo guide covers all patient services within the Hospital.

The new guide comes at a time of ambitious change for the Hospital as they battle with buildings that are nearing the end of their useful lives and must be replaced. Without this redevelopment, advances in technology and treatments will not be so readily translated into real improvements in the care of sick children. World-class facilities that embrace the latest technologies are vital to the Hospital’s ability to make a real and long lasting impact on the health of children across the globe.

Phase 1 of the redevelopment (which is split into four phases) was completed in 2006 at a cost of £88 million, transforming the experience of children, families and staff. The redevelopment resulted in new clinical facilities, a patient and family hotel and improved outpatient facilities for services within the neighbouring Royal London Homeopathic Hospital.

Credit to Llewelyn Davies Yeang (2)

All of these new facilities will be available to view on the DisabledGo-Great Ormond Street Hospital access guide. By logging on to people can check, where their consultation room is in relation to the main entrance, whether there are lifts to access other floors, whether a hearing loop is fitted at reception, the type of announcements in waiting areas, whether information is available in alternative formats and in-depth information about adapted toilets.

The final two phases have yet to be fully costed and designed but Phases 3 and 4 of the redevelopment programme include the relocation of outpatient services into a new Ambulatory Care Centre and the creation of a new central square and main entrance pavilion.

The re-development will see the Hospital’s oldest facilities upgraded to provide the world-class standard GOSH seeks to deliver and the new online access guide will help increase patient choice and improve the clinical experience.

Channel 4’s 2012 launch: Paralympics to be ‘biggest event’ in C4 history

Channel 4 says it wants to make its wall-to-wall coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics the “biggest event” in its history.

The broadcaster is promising a multi-million pound marketing campaign in the lead-up to London 2012 – again the biggest in its history – and promised that coverage during the games would be “pretty much first thing in the morning until last thing at night”.

Channel 4 will start the countdown to 2012 later this month, with a weekend of Paralympic-themed programming.

The channel’s youth strand T4 will be hosted across the bank holiday weekend from a location near the ParalympicsGB training camp in Bath and will include the first in a 10-week magazine series, That Paralympic Show, co-presented by former Paralympian Ade Adepitan.

On Sunday 29 August, exactly two years before the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics, the channel will air a feature-length documentary, Inside Incredible Athletes, which uses scientific tests and scanning technology to create “biomechanical portraits” of seven elite athletes hoping to represent ParalympicsGB in 2012.

The documentary will be promoted with an “ambitious” marketing campaign –using the phrase “freaks of nature” – that “aims to challenge perceptions of disability sport and encourage the audience to question their own prejudices”.

The following day, Channel 4 will show highlights of the IPC swimming world championships in the Netherlands.

Launching the channel’s plans for 2012, Julian Bellamy, Channel 4’s acting chief creative officer, said research showed 84 per cent of the British public could not name a single Paralympian.

Adepitan said Channel 4 was “taking the Paralympics into a new era” and promised that it would “turn our Paralympians into household names”.

Speaking after the launch, Alison Walsh, Channel 4’s disability executive, said the broadcaster was “very alive” to potential criticism that its programmes would have a “medical model” emphasis on elite athletes and their impairments, overshadowing the problems caused by the barriers that disabled people faced in society.

But she said the channel hoped to change attitudes of “pity” towards disabled people. Inside Incredible Athletes would be “empowering” and portray the athletes instead as “really powerful”, she said.

“It will not be all about making them into some kind of super-hero. They are going to be [shown as] really hard-working athletes.”

But she added: “The disabled audience have to be the judge.”

Chris Holmes, who won nine Paralympic swimming gold medals and is now director of Paralympic integration for the 2012 organising committee, said the games could change the way society views disabled people, as they did in South Korea after it hosted the 1988 games.

He said the weekend of programmes was a “great way to launch it with two years to go” and would be “a great weekend of sport”.

Channel 4 also announced that BT and Sainsbury’s had become joint sponsors of its Paralympic programming.

That Paralympic Show, Saturday 28 August, 1.25pm, Channel 4.

Inside Incredible Athletes, Sunday 29 August, 9pm, Channel 4.

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Solar Centre abuse scandal: family’s anger at health trust

Relatives of people with learning difficulties who were allegedly abused at an NHS day centre are to take legal action against the trust that ran the centre.

They also want South Yorkshire police to reopen its investigation into the allegations of abuse by four members of staff at the Solar Centre in Doncaster.

Police investigated the allegations in 2007, but failed to produce enough evidence to press any charges.

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) then carried out its own investigation and uncovered evidence that 18 people with learning difficulties, high support needs and physical and sensory impairments had been abused.

The trust has said the “majority” of the allegations were proven, although all four staff members are said to have denied all the allegations. The trust’s report was leaked to the press last month.

Adrian Milnes, whose step-son Richie was one of the alleged victims, called on the trust to name the four staff members.

He said: “We want to know their names. The trust should be open about that. The only assurance they have given us is that Richie will not come into contact with them on their premises.

“These people have been allowed to evaporate and disappear from the radar.”

A spokeswoman for RDaSH said two former members of its staff had been referred to the Protection of Vulnerable Adults scheme – now the vetting and barring scheme run by the Independent Safeguarding Authority – and this “should ensure that they are not employed in the future in any other registered service caring for vulnerable adults”.

She said a third member of staff was no longer employed within the trust’s Learning Disabilities Directorate. The fourth member of staff was employed by a different trust. RDaSH was unable to say what measures would be taken to ensure that these two people would not have any contact with the alleged victims.

She said: “We can’t release specific details about members of staff because then we breach our duty of confidentiality towards them.”

Milnes said his family and at least one other would be seeking damages from the trust over its failure to protect their relatives.

He said his step-son’s behaviour had completely changed as a result of what happened. “It has been broken sleeps and nightmares for nearly six years now. He has become aggressive. He is now perceiving threats where he didn’t before.

“Before this happened he was very loving, patient and considerate. He doesn’t have any patience anymore.”

He is hoping to contact more relatives, so they can share information and offer mutual support.

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Government to use credit firms in latest benefit fraud crackdown

The government is set to use private companies to trawl through disabled people’s credit histories as part of its latest campaign to cut benefit fraud.

The prime minister, David Cameron, announced this week on a visit to Manchester that the government would unveil an “uncompromising” crackdown on benefit fraud this autumn, which could include tougher penalties and more prosecutions for fraud.

He said the government wanted to use credit ratings agencies to “go after those who are claiming illegally”.

The government wants to pay these companies according to how many fraudulent claims they detect. It was widely reported in the mainstream media that government sources had described these fees as “bounty payments”.

Experian, one of the companies that already works on fraud detection with the government, claims it could use “simple data matching techniques to identify lifestyles incompatible with people genuinely incapable of work” and save £300 million in incapacity benefit (IB) fraud and error.

This is a far higher sum than the government’s latest estimates of £210 million lost every year to IB fraud and error, of which just £30 million is fraud.

Experian would use techniques such as checking that information given to the DWP in a benefit claim matches information given by the claimant to other organisations, and analysing whether their income levels suggest they have a job.

But disabled activist Adam Lotun, director of Workplace Disability Adjustments, said he was very concerned about “consultants coming in who…do not understand the needs and requirements of disabled people”.

He said: “I am worried that a lot of [innocent disabled] people are going to get caught up and accused of fraud.”

The Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform (SCoWR) said the DWP’s figures showed total benefit fraud was less than one per cent of all claims, with errors caused by underpayments, overpayments, poor administration and bureaucracy far more of a problem.

Maggie Kelly, of the Scottish Poverty Alliance, said it was “about time that David Cameron started to focus on the huge amount of money lost through DWP mistakes and the £40bn a year lost in high level tax avoidance and evasion. The amount lost through benefit fraud is tiny in comparison.”

It also emerged that the government is considering forcing claimants of the new employment and support allowance (ESA) to take their work assessment test earlier than the current 14 weeks.

Chris Grayling, the employment minister, suggested that many of the people who abandon their ESA claims before taking the test have been claiming the benefit fraudulently.

He said: “You can wait 13 weeks on ESA before you have a medical check – 30 or 40 per cent of claims stop before that 13 weeks is up. That is something we should give some thought to.”

A DWP spokeswoman said they were “looking at options” for having the work capability assessment take place earlier in the assessment process for ESA, although no decisions had yet been made.

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DWP uses ‘Al Capone powers’ to freeze assets in benefit fraud probe

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has used controversial laws designed for confiscating property from terrorists and drug dealers to freeze the assets of two disabled businessmen under investigation for benefit fraud.

The two disabled men – who cannot be named for legal reasons – say the investigation by the DWP has destroyed their lives and ruined their business, even though they have yet to be charged with any offence.

The government has used the Proceeds of Crime Act (PoCA) to freeze all of their assets – and made it impossible to continue running their company – before they have had a chance to defend themselves in court.

Allegations of Access to Work fraud were first made in March against the two men, who are directors of a company that provided jobs for a number of disabled people.

The allegations were later extended to cover fraud relating to disability living allowance. They have both been extensively interviewed over claims of fraud totalling millions of pounds, although they claim the grants they received totalled far less than this.

They say their Motability vehicles, electric wheelchairs, disability benefits, bank accounts, medical aids and access to council care and support have all been seized, restrained or denied.

Both men even had all of the cash taken from their wallets by police after being interviewed about the allegations. Under PoCA, they are both given £250 a week to live on, although it has taken four months for them to start receiving that money.

One of the men, David (not his real name), said they had had their right to a fair hearing removed, which had led to a “Kafka-esque situation” in which they had been subjected to “all the available sanctions available under law” before they had been charged with any offence.

Both men say they can prove that they are disabled and were entitled to claim the benefits.

David said: “They have literally thrown everything they can against us. I have had my company taken away. My livelihood has been removed.

“We feel like we’ve been scooped up and dumped in Communist Russia where justice for the common man no longer exists yet those in charge are able to do as they want and get away with it.”

Writing about PoCA in the Guardian last November – before he became a government minister – the Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne said the “Al Capone powers” within the act to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property were “designed to claw back the money and assets accrued by Mr Bigs and deprive them of a luxury lifestyle funded by a lifetime of criminality”.

But he warned that the act had “increasingly been used to seize the assets of minor offenders” in order to meet stiff government targets.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “We do not comment on ongoing investigations.”

When asked to comment on the DWP’s use of PoCA, she said: “I would not comment on that.”

But she added: “It is one of the laws we are entitled to use.”

A spokesman for the police force which arrested the men said: “We were involved in taking out the search warrants, executing the searches and making arrests on behalf of the DWP. It is the DWP’s case, which…police are assisting on.”

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Tanzania project breaks new ground for unions

A unique project – backed by international trade unions – aims to promote the employment rights of disabled people in Tanzania.

The pilot programme will find jobs for 20 disabled people, while training existing trade union members in Tanzania to be “disability champions” in the workplace.

It will also deliver training on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to 100 disabled people and about 20 disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) in Tanzania.

The project is being run by the charity Disability Aid Abroad (DAA), which is based in Northern Ireland and chaired by disabled journalist John Coghlan.

He said the scheme aimed to build the capacity of DPOs in Tanzania and empower DPOs and individual disabled people to understand and demand their rights.

It is believed to be the first time that international trade unions have worked to protect the employment rights of disabled workers in developing countries.

The employment part of the scheme will start in January 2011, with the training of the disability champions starting next month.

The project has secured the financial backing of the TUC in the UK, NIC-ICTU, the umbrella organisation for trade unions in Ireland, other unions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and AFL-CIO, a federation of 56 US labour unions.

Two members of the Tanzanian trade union TUICO will visit London and Belfast in late November to receive “disability champions” training from the TUC and NIC-ICTU, while Coghlan hopes there will be further exchange visits between the UK and Ireland and Tanzania.

UK and Irish unions have so far raised £28,000 of the £42,000 needed to fund the project.

Coghlan hopes the scheme – which will be run in partnership with local trade unions and community organisations – will challenge the stigma surrounding disability in Tanzania.

Disabled people in Tanzania also face inaccessible transport and workplaces, with less than five per cent of disabled people in paid jobs, while only about five per cent of disabled children attend secondary school.

Coghlan said: “The legislation is already there in Tanzania. It is just not being implemented.”

The training will be carried out in Tanzania by the Northern Ireland charity Disability Action.

The project has also secured the backing of the Tanzanian government, and the European Union has signalled that it could roll it out across Tanzania.

If the project is successful, DAA hopes it will be used as a template for trade unions to run similar projects in other developing countries.

To contact John Coghlan, email

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