The closure of the Independent Living Fund will inevitably lead to the erosion of independence, inclusion and freedom for disabled people who have high levels of need.
Guest Blog: Liz Carr. Actress – Friday Opinion Piece
FACT: Due to changes within the adult care system, the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will be closing on 30 June 2015. From 1 July 2015, the funding and responsibility of ILF care and support needs will transfer to local authorities in England and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
FACT: The ILF is permanently closed to new applications.
I am one of the 18,000 people in the UK who receive support from the ILF and it is this funding to pay people to do the things I physically can’t do which enables me to get up in the morning, work and have the same kinds of opportunities as everyone else.
I don’t think I’m being overdramatic when I say that news to close the Independent Living Fund is devastating to those of us whose lives and existence owes a great deal to the Independent Living Fund.
Disabled People need questions answering
How can already strapped for cash Local authorities take up the slack when the Fund closes in the summer of 2015?
How many of us are going to lose our independence as residential care provides a more cost effective option?
How can the Government ensure an independent future for disabled people?
Disabled people make up 20% of the population. That’s a conservative estimate. We are hidden impairments, we are visible, we are old, we are gay, we are lesbian, we are black, we are white, we are all sorts of people, that’s who we are.
But what we are not is victims.
We are not scroungers or frauds. We are not vulnerable or work shy. We are not charity cases or burdens or ‘unsustainables’ or useless eaters.
We are fighters, survivors, leaders, comrades, brothers and sisters in arms, campaigners, citizens and equals.
The closure of the ILF is the end of an era. It was a beacon of good practice that placed the independence of disabled people at the heart of its purpose.
Its closure is part of a broader change to the landscape that could see a return to the days of disabled people being left in the shadows of service provision. No, it doesn’t feel like a great time to be disabled. Yes we will continue to campaign hard for rights and inclusion.
Make sure your voices are heard you can follow the debate on Twitter #SaveILF
Join in on Facebook PLEASE like the campaign and add your views and show the strength of our collective voice
Disabled people say YES to independence