This campaign is against all anti-disability provisions in the Welfare Reform Bill, so we are loath to focus on one benefit, but it is clear that the reform of the Disability Living Allowance is key for most disabled people. At the same time, it is sometimes quite hard for able-bodied people to "get" DLA: to understand that it is not a bonus or compensation for disability but a vital support for disabled people. BendyGirl has blogged on this in the past, and today we have put together a selection of quotes from real people that may help to explain DLA:
DLA helps my sister pay for the extra costs gluten-free dietary needs and for her additional heating costs.
My brother needs his DLA to pay for someone to clean his flat, do his laundry and prepare meals for him, ever since his car accident.
DLA paid for me to continue at work helping homeless people after my accident as I couldn't use public transport.
Since she started using a wheelchair, DLA enables my wife to go out with a paid support worker to access the outside world.
DLA pays for my friend with terminal cancer so she can make the most of the final months of her life with friends and family.
DLA pays for my cousin’s speech recognition equipment so she can continue to work as a writer on days when her hands hurt too much to type.
Without DLA to pay for my extra transport costs I would not be able to get to exhibitions for my artwork.
I get DLA without it I would have to rob my son (a 14 year old young carer) of more of his precious childhood.
My daughter’s wheelchair is paid for out of her DLA.
DLA has meant that I can have a shower as I was unable to get in and out of the bath safely.
DLA has helped my brother to obtain an all terrain scooter to enable him to take his dogs for a proper walk.
I never expected life to turn out like it has done. DLA has helped me cope with the change.
DLA helps my son to attend appointments in hospitals far from home as the expertise to help him with his condition is not available locally.
Since she developed arthritis my Mum uses her DLA to buy ready meals for use when she is too ill to cook for herself.
DLA helped pay for a specially geared tricycle that my seven-year old daughter can use to cycle to school, keep fit and play like other kids.
DLA pays for my autistic son to attend swimming, riding and football after school as he requires one-to-one support.
DLA helps my sister to pay for treatments such as osteopathy and chiropody, not available through my GP.
After Dad’s stroke DLA helped pay for his care needs so that he could continue living at home.
DLA helps me to pay for transport to work so that I can continue teaching Special Educational Needs children.