Deaf and disabled people are set to march on Downi

first_imgDeaf and disabled people are set to march on Downing Street on Saturday (26 September) to protest at government cuts to the Access to Work scheme.Activists from across the country will gather first outside the Houses of Parliament at noon, before marching to Downing Street at 1pm to hand in a petition protesting about the cuts.They say that changes introduced under the coalition and the current government have made it “increasing difficult” for Deaf and disabled people to access the scheme, and have left many others struggling to continue in their jobs after years of claiming the funding successfully.The petition, which by this evening (Thursday) had been signed by nearly 19,000 people, and has been put together by the Stop Changes To Access To Work campaign, warns that because Deaf and disabled people are having their AtW allowances capped or cut, they are no longer able to afford to use qualified interpreters or pay for the other support they need.The petition says: “This places jobs at risk and has already resulted in job losses and demotions.“People currently in work are potentially being forced out of work and onto benefits, which goes against everything the government is telling us they are trying to achieve.”Next month, a new cap on AtW support packages will be introduced by the government, and protesters say it will “actively discriminate” against Deaf and disabled people with high support needs in senior positions.The cap will limit annual AtW awards to one-and-a-half times the average salary, which at current levels would mean no-one could claim more than £40,800 per year through AtW, with new claimants facing the cap from October this year, and existing claimants from April 2018.This is likely to hit Deaf users of British Sign Language (BSL) hardest, with about four-fifths of the highest-value AtW awards paying for BSL services.Campaigners also say that “hostile advisors, delayed payments and continuous inefficiencies and errors” are causing so much anxiety that people are having to quit their jobs.A rally outside Downing Street on Saturday will hear from speakers including Jenny Sealey, artistic director of Graeae and co-director of the London 2012 Paralympics opening ceremony, one of the highest-profile AtW-users.She said: “Access to Work was and still should be a scheme that creates opportunities for Deaf and disabled people to have full and equal access within the work place.“AtW allowed me and many others to do the London 2012 Paralympic opening ceremony.“Had the cap come in then we would not have achieved what we did and the threat of the cap will severely thwart ambition and push us to the sidelines, creating an unequal playing field.”Dr Terry Riley, chief executive of the British Deaf Association (BDA), backed the march, and said: “We at the BDA want to show solidarity with those members of the Deaf community who are being negatively and unfairly affected by these changes.“From our community’s feedback, we can see that restricting support budgets, cutting hours and imposing unrealistic ceilings on interpreters’ fees are making it even more difficult for Deaf BSL-users in employment.“It’s concerning that the jobs of many Deaf BSL-users, whose support needs now cannot be met, could be at risk.“The BDA is currently researching the effects of the new cap policy on any new Deaf applicants and hope the government will be open to listening to our findings.”Colette Forrest, who was forced to quit her job as a company director because of AtW problems, said: “The quality of service dropped and my time became completely absorbed by Access to Work, dealing with their delays, lack of understanding and having to go over the same information again and again, leaving me unable to do my job.“It left me feeling disempowered and – as a businesswoman – I was no longer able to fulfil my role at work as a decision-maker. As a result, I felt I had no choice but to leave my job.”Geraldine O’Halloran, co-founder of the Stop Changes To Access to Work campaign, said: “Numbers using the Access to Work scheme are down from 2009; meanwhile, we know many Deaf and disabled people whose working lives have been made intolerable by the strain caused by the changes to Access to Work.”At its peak, in 2009-10, under the last Labour government, AtW was supporting more than 37,000 disabled people, but this plunged under the coalition to 30,780 in 2011-12, although it has increased again in the last couple of years.The latest figures show 36,760 disabled people were helped in 2013-14, still below the figure of 37,270 for 2009-10.While the number of existing claimants continuing to receive AtW funding rose by nearly 2,000 last year, the number of “new customers helped” dropped sharply, from 12,710 in 2013-14 to 12,050 in 2014-15.And research by disability organisations, reported in February by Disability News Service, found that nearly all of the disabled people whose AtW entitlement had been reviewed were having their support cut.Pictured: Jenny Sealey (second from right) with an interpreter and cast members at a rehearsal of Graeae’s production of Blood Wedding. 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The equality watchdog has asked the government for

first_imgThe equality watchdog has asked the government for significant new powers, including the ability to inspect buildings that are flouting access laws.The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it needed stronger powers to hold “powerful and well-resourced” governments and large organisations to account.But it also said that it should be made independent of government, and accountable instead to parliament.The calls came in a blog by the commission’s chair, David Isaac (pictured), which was written to mark 10 years since the watchdog was founded.Following his comments, the government told Disability News Service that it had already begun working with EHRC to plan a “tailored review” of the commission, which will look at whether its powers “remain appropriate” and will also consider the issue of its independence.The review is expected to begin in April next year and finish the following month, although it might not be published until 2019.Isaac said in his blog that the commission had “cause to be anxious” that a post-Brexit Britain would see a reduction in equality and human rights protections.There have also been strong recent criticisms of the government’s record on disability rights from the United Nations.It was only in August that a vice-chair of the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities told a UK government delegation in Geneva: “I want to see you coming back as world leader [on disability rights], which at the moment I am afraid you’re not.”And the chair of the committee, Theresia Degener, said in an interview that, compared to other countries with “less economic power” and less advanced equality and discrimination legislation, the UK’s austerity policy was “less human rights oriented”.Degener said that the UK’s record on disability rights was “going backwards in a pace and to an amount that it worries us a lot”, and that the evidence in front of her committee – which had been assessing the UK’s implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – had been “overwhelming”.In his blog, Isaac said the commission needed the power to “enter and inspect premises where disability access requirements are being ignored” and to carry out “mystery shopping” exercises, which could ensure businesses are providing accessible products and services.And he said the commission should be able to hand out enforcement notices or impose civil sanctions on organisations that breached certain parts of the Equality Act.Isaac also said the commission should be able to demand information from organisations that it suspected were acting unlawfully, without having to launch a formal investigation.He said that restoring EHRC’s power to arrange conciliation services (voluntary discussions aimed at resolving disputes), or even allowing it to arrange arbitration (where an impartial person makes a decision on a dispute, outside the court system) and make binding rulings in some cases, could reduce the burden on the legal system and help cut legal costs.Isaac also called on the prime minister to make the commission directly accountable to parliament, rather than to the government – it is currently sponsored by the Government Equalities Office, within the Department for Education.He said: “In 1997 the Labour government gave full independence to the Bank of England.“In 2011 the coalition government created the independent Office of Budget Responsibility.“Both of these organisations were made independent to give them autonomy and greater credibility to make decisions.“By making us accountable to parliament rather than ministers, the prime minister would remove government’s control of our budget, their involvement in the appointment of our board, and any perceived threat of political interference.”EHRC now plans to run a series of public events over the next year to hear the public’s views on these ideas and to try to secure their support.Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “I fully support EHRC having greater powers to enforce the Equality Act.“To proactively enforce the law will have real impact. Laws are no good if they not enforced, and those they aim to protect are not informed of their rights.”A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “A forthcoming tailored review of the Equality and Human Rights Commission that will run from 2018 to 2019 will provide an opportunity to consider the broader issue of EHRC independence as well as reviewing the powers available to the commission more broadly and whether they remain appropriate.”last_img read more

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Assistant coach Jamahl Lolesi takes us through wha

first_imgAssistant coach Jamahl Lolesi takes us through what the lads have been doing in training.Memberships for the 2018 Betfred Super League campaign are on sale now – and you have until November 30 to secure the best possible price.And as well as guaranteeing your ‘spec’ for the new season you’ll receive a whole host of other benefits AND be entered into our Ultimate Fan draw.Be #saintsandproud – click here to find out more.last_img

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Hundreds of dogs compete for best in show

first_img The show is being held at Legion Stadium on both Saturday and Sunday.Dog owners from all over were excited to show off their pooch in front of the judges.One dog owner said she is extremely proud of her pets when they win. It means a lot to see all of their hard work pay off.Related Article: Wilmington Sharks could look for new home“Oh my gosh, it’s like yay! Yeah, cause you get points and you get points towards your championship and then ya know you get bragging rights. Going yeah, I got a champion dog,” dog owner Rhapsody Rhodes said.She also said this show is different than others she has done because it is outdoors.This was the 114th and 115th annual AKC show. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Port City was taken over by hundreds of dogs competing for best in show this weekend.More than five-hundred dogs entered the annual American Kennel Club’s all-breed dog show. It is being hosted by the Hanover Kennel Club.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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New area flood gauges installed to increase safety flood prediction capability

first_img In June 2018, the state announced that more than a dozen gauges would be added to the state network and help alert other communities to dangerous flooding.“Time and again over the last several years, we’ve used data from these flood gauges to warn residents and communities about dangerous flood conditions,” said state emergency management director Mike Sprayberry.The Sunset Beach Pier got new flood gauges installed Friday. All of the gauges will be maintained by North Carolina Environmental Management and will be connected to the FIMAN, Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network.Related Article: Storm washes away beloved memory on fishing pier, family hopes it will turn upFive of the 13 new gauges were added in the Cape Fear Region. The five were funded by county governments.Pender County – Black River near CurrieBrunswick County – Caw Caw Swamp at Number 5 School Rd NW near Carolina ShoresBrunswick County – Shallotte River at Main St./U.S. 17 Business in ShallotteBrunswick County – Lockwood Folly River at N.C. Hwy 211 / Southport-Supply Rd. in SupplyBrunswick County – Ocean Isle Beach Pier Black River (Photo: NC DPS) CAPE FEAR REGION (WWAY) — When river levels began rising following hurricane Matthew and Florence, it quickly became a potential very dangerous situation for many families in the Cape Fear.North Carolina Emergency Management warned community leaders what day and time the river would crest and just how high water levels would rise in their community. A series of flood gauges provided critical data to make those predictions.- Advertisement – “Adding new gauges in these areas will help communities be more aware and prepared for flooding, and will allow for better warning when floods are coming,” said State Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.  “FIMAN is a powerful tool that helps us very accurately define what areas will be affected by flood waters, so emergency managers and local officials can take the appropriate actions to keep people safe.”center_img View gauge data online.last_img read more

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Experts warn of dangers boats can cause to sea turtles

first_img One local hospital just got two sea turtles in who were badly injured from run-ins with a boat.The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center wants everyone to be careful on the water.Director Jean Beasley says you could easily drive your boat right over a sea turtle without even knowing it.Related Article: Sea turtle nest disturbed near Oak Island PierShe says one turtle they have now has three gashes through its shell from a boat propeller.She says the other turtle had a piece of its flipper cut right off.Beasley says the sea turtles can be anywhere in the water.“If we could just ask people to be on the lookout for something in the water that just may look like floating trash or a floating piece of wood or something like that, to just slow down so that they don’t just hit it without knowing what’s going on,” Beasley said.She says loggerhead turtles can often look like a piece of wood floating.Beasley says the turtles’ shells are a lot more delicate than people think.She says one of these turtles will have to be transferred to another hospital for surgery. CCSettingsNo subtitlesEnglish 00:03 -00:53 00:56 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — While everyone is headed out on their boats this weekend, there is one thing you should watch out for.Experts say you could be hurting some of the wildlife out in the ocean without even knowing it.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Updated MPs vote in favour of Brexit delay and other updates

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> ‘UK must have viable plan before there is another Art 50 extension’ – EU PresidencyThe UK Prime Minister has 24 hours to produce a viable way forward in order for a further extension of Article 50 to June 30th to be considered, the representative of the Romanian Presidency of the EU has said.Theresa May must produce a plan that can get political representatives at home to support and will be ready in time for consideration during tomorrow’s EU Brussels summit of European leaders.The condition was presented by the Romanian diplomat George Ciamba, representing his country’s presidency of the EU.‘The prolongation of the Article 50 deadline is an instrument and not an objective in itself. The British side must outline a clear plan with credible political backing to justify the decision of the European Council in favour of the extension,’ Ciamba told press in Luxembourg.Brexit: May officially asks for another extensionThe announcement follows Mrs May’s recognition of the need for a further extension to the current delay to the Brexit process, one which would technically see the UK leave the EU without a deal on Friday 12th April.This original deadline had been agreed between EU leaders and the UK Prime Minister as the ‘worst case scenario’ option should MPs not support the ‘withdrawal agreement’ for a third time.  This became a reality when MPs voted against an adapted version of the deal for the third time. Had they accepted then, the extension would’ve lasted until May 22nd.Should the Prime Minister be able to meet this condition by tomorrow evening, EU leaders will discuss both whether to offer the extension and her anticipated June 30th deadline.Extension must serve a purposeREUTERS/Francois LenoirThe EU’s Chief negotiator Michel Barnier remained optimistic about the current situation, given that the Government and Opposition Labour Party are now talking about the way forward on the deal and this could lead to a consensus.‘We all expressed our hopes and expectations in this regard … that this dialogue will conclude with a positive result which will allow us at last to have a positive majority emerge with regard to this withdrawal agreement.’ Barnier told reporters.However, Barnier did stress that any further extension of the deal must ‘serve a purpose.’‘This extension has to serve a purpose; to provide more time to ensure that the political process I’ve described can be crowned with success and that this majority can be attained.’Read more:‘Brexit was the trigger,’ a new Maltese citizen explainsWatch: MEPs support visa free travel for UK nationals in event of No-Deal BrexitBrexit: UK PM says the country needs another extensionUpdated: 344 MPs reject the third Brexit vote on the withdrawal agreementWhile a ‘redline’ has been drawn over negotiation of the substance of the withdrawal agreement, Barnier did hint that there is a possibility that the political declaration – the future relationship between the UK and the EU, could include elements like a customs union. He explained such an addition could be carried out within, ‘a few hours or days.’European Ministers attending the meeting echoed optimism about an extension saying they wanted to avoid a No-Deal Brexit, but extension would only come with clear explanation.Discussions between the Government and Opposition are still ongoing with no clear consensus drawn between the two. The Prime Minister is also currently meeting with her French and German counterparts (Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel) in their respective capitals, Paris and Berlin.Taking part in May elections?While prospects of the UK participating in the European Elections in May has been treated as a disincentive to speed up departure, current circumstances have forced contingencies to be put in place.It is understood that should a possible extension of Article 50 elapse over into the European elections, the UK government is preparing for the period.The decision signals a belief that the UK’s departure could be delayed past the May 23rd when Europeans go to the polls.The Cabinet Office has warned that the move does not directly mean that the UK will take part, rather the elections would be stopped if the UK managed to leave before the election date.Nigel FARAGE, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) arrives at a Polling Station in Downe, Bromley, South London, United Kingdom to cast a vote for the European Parliament Elections on 22 May 2014.Speaking to CNN, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said that, ‘It remains the government’s intention to leave the EU with a deal and pass the necessary legislation before 22 May, so that we do not need to participate in European Parliamentary elections.’Previous discussions about extensions to Article 50 have included June 30th as a possible date of departure.This was proposed by the Prime Minister during the previous round of discussions.Mrs May had warned that this date would mean that the UK would technically have to participate in the EU elections, angering staunch Brexiteers determined for the UK to leave before.WhatsApp Credit: Sky NewsCredit: Sky News Updated 18.58MPs have voted in the House of Commons, asking the Prime Minister to ask for a delay to Brexit until the 30th June.The vote was won 420 in favour, to 110 against.Breaking: MPs have voted in favour of asking Theresa May to request a Brexit delay until the 30th of June.Follow the latest #Brexit news here:— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 9, 2019June but justThe Reuters news agency is also reporting that according to the draft conclusions of leader’s Summit tomorrow, they will support a Brexit delay.Reuters is also reporting that this will be June 1st 2019 and not the 30th as the Prime Minister had initially requested.Giving time timeThe EU Council President Donald Tusk has also outlined in a letter to the EU27 leaders ahead of tomorrow’s Summit about a flexible extension for the UK. He says that it should be as long as needed but not to go beyond a year.There are times when you need to give time time.My letter to EU leaders ahead of tomorrow’s #EUCO:— Donald Tusk (@eucopresident) April 9, 2019‘This is why I believe we should also discuss an alternative, longer extension. One possibility would be a flexible extension, which would last only as long as necessary and no longer than one year, as beyond that date we will need to decide unanimously on some key European projects.The flexibility would allow to terminate the extension automatically, as soon as both sides have ratified the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK would be free to leave whenever it is ready. And the EU27 would avoid repeated Brexit summits. Importantly, a long extension would provide more certainty and predictability by removing the threat of constantly shifting cliff-edge dates.Furthermore, in the event of a continued stalemate, such a longer extension would allow the UK to rethink its Brexit strategy.’ Tusk writes.The ‘Flextension’ does come with conditions.According to Tusk, the Withdrawal Agreement cannot be re-opened, there are to be only negotiations on the future relationship, the ‘Political Declaration’. The UK would also have to maintain its cooperation as a member state leaving the Union.The EU President does explain that until the time that the UK finally leaves, it will maintain all of its rights and obligations. He also states that the option is open if the UK wants to revoke Article 50.center_img SharePrintlast_img read more

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The right to education is a human right – President Vella

first_img SharePrint The President of Malta George Vella highlighted that the right to education “is recognised as an essential human right for everyone without distinction of any kind.”George Vella was delivering a keynote address to state leaders at The World Forum for the Culture of Peace at The Hague, Netherlands.During his speech, he maintained that the right to education is not simply a matter of access, and referred to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which lays down the right to free elementary education. He said that this article lays down the right for education to be directed to the “full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”In addition, President George Vella mentioned the necessity of rediscovering “the basis of sustainable peace in our world” and emphasised that politicians cannot legislate for peace, but they can “promote an education for peace.”He said that communities and societies that adopt an order based on justice are best-placed to achieve sustainable peace.WhatsApp <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

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Current ITS building to be retained yet excavated – Cassola

first_img <a href=’;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> Professor Arnold Cassola has stated that according to the new submitted plans by the DB group, the site boundary of the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), that the current building will be retained, even though it will be excavated.Cassola questioned the architects that “came up with this brainwave?”, as he stated that a building cannot be retained and excavated simultaneously.This same plan of action was proposed for the Cold War Outpost, added Cassola. He stated that the DB group said that this Outpost will be retained, but in reality the new plans submitted show that the underlying rock will be excavated.Read: Court cites ‘conflict of interest’ and revokes DB Group permit“The irresponsibility on the part of the DB Group is simply astounding”Cassola also mentioned the future situation of the roads in the vicinity of the proposed project. He believes that not only will the excavation of the site involve the removal of the road, but will also make access to the area, including the Corinthia and Radisson hotels and the beach, more difficult.He described “The irresponsibility on the part of the DB Group” as being “simply astounding”; as he believes that this will mean more traffic congestion, more waiting time for residents to get in/out of Pembroke and more car emissions that will further deteriorate the quality of air in the area.Read: db Group to re-activate development permitWhatsApp SharePrintlast_img read more

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Today 1 buttons will start appearing on Google search pages globally

first_imgAdvertisement Today, +1’s will start appearing on Google search pages globally. We’ll be starting off with sites like,, and, then expanding quickly to most other Google search sites soon after.We’ve partnered with a few more sites where you’ll see +1 buttons over the coming days.Publishers outside the US have been waiting to put +1 buttons on their sites: now’s a good time to get started. Visit the +1 button tool on Google Webmaster Central where the +1 button is already available in 44 languages.last_img

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