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Crippen looks at the changes of attitude being made towards User led Organisations / 7 March 2010

Crippen's cartoon about the change towards User Led Organisations

Crippen's disadvantaged cartoon

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Sometimes when an old cynic like me thinks we are not making any progress and there’s too much of the same-old, same-old, I get a dig in the ribs and a reminder that us crips do occasionally have some influence. This nudge was another example of how we have penetrated the portals of policy and power. 

Thanks to years of background work, solid research, lobbying, persuasion, arm-twisting and hard, under-funded graft by crips, disabled people’s (and carers´) organisations are now officially sexy and sought-after.  There’s a big conference coming up this week run by the Department of Health on user-led organisations (ULO's).  Of course lots of it now is in that impenetrable language – officialese – but there you go. 

“The success and sustainability of User-Led Organisations is a vital part of the transformation of Adult Social Care and the wider personalisation agenda ... each Local Authority with social services responsibilities should have a User-Led Organisation in place by 2010.  This conference is an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the successes achieved by ULO's ... ” goes the conference blurb. 

Actually we do have something to celebrate here. These people just didn’t wake up one day and think “ah, let’s do something positive for the disabled [sic]”. Like with pushing for anti-discrimination legislation, like crips campaigning their guts out for direct payments (and individual budgets) and much, much more – being a thorn in the side of the Powers That Be does sometimes have an effect.

Before you think I’ve fallen into a vat of schmaltz and popped on a pair of rose-tinted specs, I hasten to assure you that the Crippen crap-o-meter is still pulsing.  We need to see Councils putting some financial welly into all this to support crip organisations, properly and without strings attached.

We need to see this top-down rhetoric having a real effect locally – and – oh, please! – we need those medical-model, finance-gobbling, charity-focussed ‘for’ organisations to move over and let us take control of our lives.

A special thanks to Mrs Crippen for her invaluable input here.

Keywords: charities,disability professionals,disabled people's movement,politics,social model,user led organisations,

Comments

sarah p

/
21 March 2010

speaking as one who's also been around a good while, I've not lost my rosy specs entirely - tho they are a bit cracked and misty - I think this is altogether a good opportunity to do a little bit of reversal of all those pesky non-crips getting paid for "working with" us and make a bit of realistic dosh ourselves - I'm all too aware of all the tokenism, hidden agenda, downright oppressive attitudes etc. but can't let this go by without doing my bit

Crippen

/
14 March 2010

... ancient and venerable?!

Ann T Krapp

/
14 March 2010

No, we're not a policy to be thought about, you're quite right Alyson, nor should we be a job creation scheme or a business opportunity for non-disabled people - but of course we are so often all of the above. This is certainly another one of those mixed bags, as Crippen and everyone is saying - there's so much to be wary of, cynical, frustrated and angry about as our agenda gets hijacked once again. But the optimist in me knows that there are still some nuggets of gold in here too, albeit buried in the rapidly accumulating sh*t. So on with the struggle, eh folks?! That's the bit that's the same-old, same-old! At least we can rely on Crippen to raise such issues and stir the pot ... carry on, ancient and venerable one!

Crippen

/
13 March 2010

Carboard box?! Eee luxury! Thanks Penny, a good point about tokenism ... and before anyone else says it, no one's as old as me! ;-)

Penny Pepper

/
12 March 2010

I'm old, almost as old as Dave??? So I remember how bad things were and how they are better now in some ways, but also at a cost.

I could fall into that ramble, 'I remember when we met in a soggy cardboard box, thrown in the gutter by some arsey charity, for us to use and be grateful for, crumbs of funding thrown at our cripply feet etc' but the reality is much more complex. My life is HUGELY more empowered now than 20 years ago... I've beavered away in endless UL groups for independent living, arts, sexuality, and gawd knows what, and seen a slow acceptance and progression. I don't know if we should celebrate though. Maybe the achievements of those crips who've lead the way for us... but

with these changes (whatever may or may not underpin them in terms of funding and so on) comes definite tokenism and more undisguised indifference, even hate... all the way to the sharp push along to Switzerland for easy answers - for them. Hmmm.

Happy days peeps!

Crippen

/
8 March 2010

... go for it Rich!

rich

/
8 March 2010

Hello!!! Are you there? Come on now. Wakey! Wakey! How long have we been promised this and here we are in 2010 and our organisations are still closing. Beware. And what if there are two ULO's in the local authority? How do you choose the right one? What is the framework? What is the test? How do you know that the ULO isn't another charity model organisation? What if there are 3 ULO's? Who you gonna do business with? Tell you what I'm going to do though. I'm going to cut and paste some of your blog and send it to the head honcho responsible for the transformation of social care (locally that is), see if they've moved from their intransient position as demonstrated in the last round of local spending assessments.

Alyson Bradley AsPlanet.info

/
7 March 2010

I so agree, we need to be the change we want to see, we can not let society disable us or take control of who we are as individuals, personally I have had

enough of false promises, we are not a policy to be thought about but real individuals, we should not be funded because we have to be, we are apart of society and always have been, nothing should be said or done without us, our lives and we all need to speak out and say - keep up the great work Dave :)

Arty Farty

/
7 March 2010

OK. So who's going to provide the cash to set up and support these groups until they become self supporting. What with all of the spare cash being sucked up by the big charities and the 2012 Olympics ... Oh, and don't let us forget the billions being poured into the so called war on terrorism.

I'll believe it when I see it!