Employment and Support Allowance: Re-tests axed for chronically ill claimants

Cross-posted from: Jayne Linney
Originally published: 01.10.16

Both ‘Official’ and Social Media are buzzing this morning with the above news – at last those of us who are chronically ill will no longer have to perpetually be tested for our ESA. This is very welcome news but…until I know exactly what ‘Chronically Ill’ constitutes, what illnesses and diseases (as reported on the 8.00 am news) make up the list, I will refrain from using 3 hours energy getting excited. 
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Joining the Dots: Literacy as Democracy

Cross-posted from: Aliya Mughal

“We all need to feel like we have control of our lives. Of course you can never have total control. But being literate gives you a level of autonomy that’s really important.”

The autonomy that Paul Sullivan, of blind literacy group The Braillists, is talking about is often denied to the blind or visually impaired. A lack of physical and social support means that a significant proportion of the blind population – that’s 360,000 people in the UK according to the RNIB – are likely to be disproportionately hampered and isolated in day to day life as compared to sighted people.

The Braillists operate as regional networks in Bristol, Reading and Dublin as grassroots, community groups, motivated by the desire to improve braille literacy. They do this through influencing policy, raising awareness and garnering commercial support for new technologies.

They started in March 2015 in Bristol, when social entrepreneur Steph Tyszka was tasked with setting up a user group to test the prototype for The Canute, a new piece of braille technology created by Bristol Braille Technology CIC.

The Canute is a multiline refreshable braille e-reader that contains four lines of text, each containing 28 cells per line, compared to standard braille readers which contain a total of just 40 characters.

Read more Joining the Dots: Literacy as Democracy

Frida Kahlo by @MurderofGoths

Cross-posted from: Murder of Goths
Originally published: 05.06.15

I’m currently suffering from the twin nightmares of severe period pain and EDS pain, my body feels utterly cripple by pain. Just typing this hurts, but I feel like I need to turn this pain in to something constructive, and it got me thinking about one of my idols – Frida Kahlo.

I knew about her and liked her art, but didn’t know a great deal about her life when I watched the film Frida. The film was a real eye opener for me, and also hugely inspirational.

This painting is one of my favourite Kahlo paintings, if you’ve read about my health problems you should be able to see instantly why.
Read more Frida Kahlo by @MurderofGoths