Disabled Living Foundation says that around 1 in 20 children across the UK are disabled, with most living at home (the cost of raising a disabled child is a third more). Often due to care responsibilities, parents of disabled children earn 25% less than the average, making things more difficult. Many children with physical disabilities have learning problems, and there are often lack of facilities in society.
Hundreds of disabled people have committed suicide due to benefit cuts, when the government says it had healthy funds after a decade of austerity. A 2019 report showed that almost half of people who moved from Disability Living Allowance to PIP (Personal Independence Payments) lost out financially. Here are resources that you may find helpful. Also see caring for children with Down’s Syndrome and making life easier for blind people.
Everyday Living for Disabled Children
- Your local council has a duty to provide help disabled children. This includes home care, adaptations, hospital visits, holiday play schemes and short break services. Some services are free, but all must be offered under the Children Act 1989.
- Family Fund can offer grants to families with disabled children. Example items funded includes washing machines, bedding, furniture, outdoor play equipment, clothing, sensory toys and family breaks.
- Donate to humane medical research charities. These charities use modern kind methods (no animals) and would find cures quicker, with better funding.
- Get a Radar key to access disabled public bathrooms. You keep this with you and get priority use of locked bathrooms, so you don’t have to use standard ones.
Blue Badges give free parking (obviously a designated driver for a blind person) in disabled bays (some shops & councils still charge). There is a government ‘grace period’ period of around 10 minutes if you are getting a disabled person (or dog) back to the car. So if you are late back, it’s worth challenging). Keep disable badges at home when not in use, as some people steal them to get free parking spaces.
Make Life Easier for Mobility Issues
- NHS Personal Budget,(upgrade to more comfortable wheelchair)
- StairSteady is an engineer-fitted simpler alternative to a stairlift
- Remap has ‘volunteer tinkerers’ to make unique products
Hero Arm is a bionic arm using space-age technology for amputees age 8 and over. Ambionics is another invention, created by the father of a child who had his arm amputated at just 10 days old, due to blood clot. After giving up his career as a psychology professor, he can’t get funding from the government, at a time when it offered a £5m package to help Welsh businesses during COVID-19. This product could change the lives of thousands of children worldwide.
Free & Low-Cost Help for Carers
- Find free & low-cost help for carers
- Turn 2 Us offers an online benefits check (be sure to ask for backdated money often for 3 months, you don’t get this offered automatically)
- Helping Hands at Home offers help with personal care, chores etc
- Cinnamon Trust & PAPAS offer dog-walking volunteers
My interest in politics has never waned, even in these tumultuous days. Yet I have learned it is not a game, some kind of spectator sport — but a struggle of immense importance that can make the difference between survival and disaster, even sometimes life or death. Ian Birrell