It is Sunday afternoon, the trees are swaying in a light breeze and there is some sunshine peeking through the clouds. I am still stunned at just how appalling the ESA assessment process is and just how many people throughout the UK are being bullied and abused by it. My parkinson-riddled system is really not liking the additional stress and is protesting with bonus cramping, spasm and tremor. Deep joy.
I mentioned the BORG in my first blogpost and the juggernaut that is the ESA Assessment process really does make me feel as if there could easily be a BORG cube a-lurking behind one of the alien-grey clouds I see outside my window. The sense of impending and as-yet-unknown hostile encounters is palpable.
Those of you who know me well, know that I have an almost irritating quality of “finding a positive” …. so stand by for some positives:
1. The local Parkinson’s Support Worker, who I emailed in a panic, gave me the phone number for a benefits advisor at Parkinson’s UK and he had some useful tips to share. It is clear, however, from what I was told, that the “medical examination” is clearly nothing of the kind.
2. I have emailed the Parkinson Support Worker and asked her to come round and review the form I completed for ESA – I am hoping I will be able to persuade her to accompany me on 29 May as there is no-one else and I genuinely don’t know how I will cope with the day.
3. The positive feedback I have received from sharing this blog and my new website on Facebook and via Twitter (along with a request to sign the DirectGov e-petition for fairer assessments ) has been immensely comforting.
4. The ATOS Checklist post in the the DWP Examination blog is excellent and gives me a set of targets to achieve before 29 May.
5. The Parkinson’s UK Disability Benefits Campaign shows how seriously we need to take the failure of ATOS to manage its DWP task in an appropriate and reasonable manner. I will contacting the Campaign coordinator next week.
6. I sense there are at present a range of disparate and varyingly successful groups working to ensure a fair disability assessments system, with several different petitions floating around, but for now nothing seems to be bringing them all together. I shall call my idea to bring them together my Campaign Against Unfair Disability Assessments!!! CAUDA for short. I am not by nature a protestor but a fixer (in a good way!) and I want this system fixed.
….. to be continued…..