Arts leaders must do more to tackle the acute la

first_imgArts leaders must do more to tackle the “acute” lack of opportunities for disabled actors on stage and screen, according to union delegates.Members of the Equity performers’ union called for “greater representation and more accurate portrayal” of disabled people, in a motion agreed unanimously by the TUC Disabled Workers Conference in London.The motion also called for “greater inclusive casting… where an actor’s talent and not their impairment drives their talent on stage or screen”.Actor Cindy-Jane Armbruster (pictured, right) told the conference that disabled people were portrayed as “the objects of pity or we are put on a pedestal as superhumans in so-called inspiration porn, or objects of scorn as benefit scroungers… anything but well-rounded human beings”.She said: “I believe very strongly that we need to change these stories, we need to tell better stories, we need to see ourselves represented on stage and on screen for our sense of self-identity. We need to know we are not alone.”She pointed to a survey last year by the Act for Change project, which campaigns for better representation across the live and recorded arts and found that just one in 326 actors performing on the London stage over the Easter weekend had a visible impairment.She added: “Having stories told about us and by us will make it harder for policy-makers to make us invisible, to dehumanise us or, worse, get rid of us.”Heidi McGeogh, of the Musicians’ Union, told the conference: “We really do need to see positive images of disabled people.“It’s going to affect how we are treated by society and how we are valued by society.“People believe what they see on the telly and on the stage and read in the papers.”Iain Scott-Burdon, a BSL-user from Unison, said: “I don’t like to see false disabled people.”He pointed to TV companies that were making programmes featuring hearing actors playing BSL-users.He said: “This is unacceptable. There is a lot of Deaf talent out there. There’s a lot of disabled talent out there.”Mik Scarlet (pictured, centre), another Equity member, told the conference that he used to work on BBC’s From the Edge magazine programme, which had nine disabled presenters and more than 30 disabled programme-makers, while Channel 4 and ITV also put out disability programmes.The disabled journalist and presenter said: “Where have they gone? They have disappeared. Now we have The Undateables and the [Paralympic] Superhumans.“We need more talent on screen, and we need to promote the concept that we need disabled programming made by disabled people.”Roddy Slorach, a University and College Union (UCU) delegate, and author of A Very Capitalist Condition, which examines the history and politics of disability, said the representation of disability in the media needed to be about “overcoming this sense of otherness”, which was “not actually an easy thing to do”.He called for “an end to disability as a form of discrimination” and “a celebration of the diversity of humanity” that looks at who disabled people are rather than using “negative stereotypical images”.The conference was attended by 25 unions, from major organisations such as Unison, Unite and NUT, to smaller unions such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the senior civil servants’ union the FDA, with nearly 200 disabled delegates attending.last_img read more

A Tory peer has accused work and pensions secretar

first_imgA Tory peer has accused work and pensions secretary Esther McVey of making a series of untrue statements about the Motability car scheme to fellow MPs.Lord Sterling, who co-founded Motability in 1977, has told McVey in a letter that he found the “litany of inaccuracies” in the comments made by her and fellow MPs in a debate earlier this month to be “deeply troubling”.Only last month, Disability News Service reported how McVey had been appointed as the new work and pensions secretary despite previously being repeatedly shamed in 2013 for misleading fellow MPs and the public about the impact of her policies on disabled people.Lord Sterling’s letter also reveals that of 180,000 Motability customers who were previously claiming disability living allowance (DLA) and have so far been reassessed for the new personal independence payment (PIP), about 75,000 have lost eligibility to remain on the scheme and have had to return their cars, because of decisions by McVey’s department.The Commons debate on 8 February followed an urgent question asked by the Labour MP John Mann about claims in the Daily Mail newspaper concerning the £2.4 billion in reserves held by the company that runs the scheme – Motability Operations (MO) – and the £1.7 million pay and bonuses package of MO’s chief executive, Mike Betts. But Lord Sterling told McVey (pictured in the debate) in his letter that the debate had been “deeply flawed and misleading”, with some of the errors relating to claims by Mann that the charity itself was holding the reserves and running the scheme, and that Betts was employed by the charity.The Tory peer pointed out that the Motability scheme was delivered by MO under contract to the Motability charity*, rather than by the charity itself.But he also told McVey – a separate letter aimed at correcting the “many false statements” made in the debate was sent to her by Motability Operations – that she herself had made four serious errors.The first, he said, was that she had called for the charity’s trustees to be “held to account” after another MP told how a constituent who had been a lifetime recipient of DLA had been threatened with having her Motability vehicle removed on Boxing Day.But this was a result of a PIP reassessment – carried out by McVey’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – which had found the constituent was no longer eligible for the higher rate of mobility support, and therefore no longer eligible to lease a car through the Motability scheme.Lord Sterling pointed out in his letter that PIP assessments were the responsibility of McVey’s department and that it was DWP’s decision to remove her eligibility.He then highlighted McVey’s claim in the debate that it had been her intervention as minister for disabled people in 2013 that led to Motability agreeing to pass £175 million** to former DLA claimants who lost their Motability vehicles in the reassessment programme.Lord Sterling said that minutes of the charity’s meetings showed that its own trustees had made this decision themselves the previous year because they had “felt a moral obligation to help people at risk of losing cars due to government policy changes”.He said they had already decided by December 2012, months before McVey’s intervention, “to provide a package of significant financial support and other assistance”.And he said that McVey had even suggested in 2013 that this support should only be focused on the initial stage of reassessments, up to 2015-16, whereas Motability’s trustees wanted to provide financial support “over the full period of the DWP’s reassessments”.The Tory peer told her that the charity had had to cope with the loss of about 75,000 customers through PIP reassessment, many of whom were “confused, distressed and even suicidal, as they worry about losing their mobility”.Lord Sterling also said that McVey was wrong when she said that DWP would use money regained from Motability to help constituents whose cars had been removed before their PIP appeals had been heard.She had told MPs: “When we have got the money back from Motability that we believe we should to support disabled people, that is one of the first things it should be used for.”Lord Sterling said this was wrong because there was “no basis on which the government can demand any money to be handed over”.He also said that McVey had been wrong when she claimed that the charity was piloting a scheme – “after direction from the department” – to help disabled children under the age of three, when the scheme was actually being piloted by MO and there had been “no direction” from DWP.A DWP spokeswoman refused to say if McVey would be apologising for the “inaccuracies” in her statements to MPs.But she said: “When PIP was first introduced, the government worked with Motability to design an extensive £175 million transitional support package to support Motability customers who have not been awarded the enhanced mobility component on reassessment from DLA to PIP.“While the department works closely with Motability, it is an independent charitable organisation and therefore we are not directly involved in determining scheme policy or operational issues.”Motability revealed this week that the number of its customers had fallen to 628,000 by December 2017, a drop of 5,000 since March 2017.Although it has lost about 75,000 customers through reassessment, the rollout of PIP has also opened eligibility to more disabled people with mental health conditions and learning difficulties.Meanwhile, despite McVey’s calls in the debate for the Charity Commission to carry out another review of the financial relationship between the charity and Motability Operations, following one it carried out last year, the commission has said this week that it has no new concerns.It said in a statement: “In light of media reporting about the Motability scheme, we reviewed the highlighted issues to see if there was anything we had not investigated as part of our previous regulatory compliance case in Motability… which was under our jurisdiction as regulator of charities in England and Wales.“Having reviewed the latest information in the media we have concluded that, as set out in our statement on 8 February, there are no new concerns that come under the commission’s jurisdiction.” *The Motability charity is a DNS subscriber**The £175 million came from a series of donations from Motability Operations to Motability during 2014 and 2015. Motability says it has so far paid out about £100 million, usually in sums of £2,000 to “departing customers”, as well as allowing customers to retain their cars for longer periods after losing their PIP eligibility and providing them with other advice and support. It is not yet sure whether it will spend “slightly more or less” than £175 million in total but plans to continue providing this support until the end of the reassessment programme, which is likely to be in 2020.last_img read more

Planning Commission Will Vote Today on Contentious Soup Kitchen

first_img Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% The Planning Commission hearing will take place at noon on January 12 at City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, in room 400.Mission Local has been covering this issue and our latest story can be found here. The Planning Commission will meet at noon today to vote on the proposal for a soup kitchen to feed the homeless at 1930 Mission St., between 15th and 16th streets.  The proposal, led by two nuns, has been primarily opposed by condo-owners who live in the building where the soup kitchen would be located.They fear the soup kitchen would attract a negative element to a neighborhood that already struggles with a large homeless population. Sisters Marie Benedicte and Marie Valerie of the Fraternite Notre Dame Mary of Nazareth have led a soup kitchen in the Tenderloin for eight years, but faced an eviction and rent increase at that location last February.After hearing about their struggle, multimillionaire Tony Robbins, a famous motivational speaker, stepped in to buy the 1,434-square-foot space in the Mission so that the nuns could continue their operation there.The nuns have spent weeks gathering community support. As of Wednesday, a petition seeking 25,000 supporters for the soup kitchen had gathered about 19,200 signatures.center_img 0%last_img read more

ASPIRING student chefs from Saints partners St Hel

first_imgASPIRING student chefs from Saints partners St Helens College are set to shine in a top culinary competition, Battle of the North West as part of the Business of Food & Drink Festival celebrations.The event is part of the city wide initiative to mark the International Festival for Business (IFB) 2014 which is set to attract businesses from around the globe to the region in a 50-day festival taking place during June and July.Budding catering and hospitality students from colleges across the region will compete in the regions first ever Inter-college cook and serve competition on Monday 7 July at St George’s Hall.The select group of St Helens College students have put together a delicious set menu to showcase their range of culinary skills and to utilise a selection of specially selected North West produce.Catering students will be tasked with inventing and preparing a four-course meal to then be formally served by hospitality students. This will be overseen by the competition judges who are leading industry chefs and examiners.Students will receive advice and mentoring from industry expert and local catering champion, Paul Askew, chef at The London Carriage Works Restaurant and Food and Beverage Director for Hope Street Hotel. This is to be followed by a glittering gala dinner hosted by world renowned celebrity chef Simon Rimmer and John Williams, Executive Chef of the Ritz. The five-course dinner, taking place on Friday 11 July at the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool will see the winners from the Cook and Serve competition crowned and presented with certificates from esteemed chef John.Terry Lavin, Head of Catering and Hospitality at St Helens College said: “The competition provides students with a unique opportunity to meet and work alongside industry professionals and gain real work experience.“The food and hospitality industry in our region is really alive and kicking at the moment and we are set to witness even more growth with further improvements to the Visitor Economy in the Liverpool City Region. This presents our students with fantastic career opportunities upon completion of their qualifications.“It is a great honour for St Helens College to be participating in the competition, our students have really invested a lot of time and effort into their entry and I would like to wish all the contestants the best of luck.”The event hopes to raising funds for national charity Chefs Adopt a School, which raises the awareness of food education in schools.Back row left to right; students chefs – Stephanie Bentham, Callum Hurle, Lucy Allcock, Dean Evans and Katie Webster. Front row left to right, hospitality students – Stephanie Birchall, Sophie King, Miranda James and Katie Donnelly.last_img read more

NHSO Heroin dealer arrested more than 3400 bags seized

first_img Deputies say the investigation began in Brunswick County and ended in New Hanover County with several search warrants executed and the arrest of 61-year-old William Walker Jr.Walker is charged with numerous felony trafficking violations.Deputies say approximately two ounces of raw powder heroin, along with 400 bags of heroin, a handgun, and heroin packaging/processing materials were seized.  The amount of heroin seized equaled approximately 3,400 bags of heroin with a street value of almost $34,000.Related Article: #UNSOLVED: Father of 2 shot to death while getting into car in WilmingtonWalker Jr. is currently in the New Hanover County Detention Facility under $2,000,000 secure bond. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Deputies say a Wilmington man is behind bars after a “significant” drug bust.Last Thursday, the FBI Coastal Criminal Enterprise Task Force, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Police Department Vice/Narcotics Units and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation concluded a heroin trafficking investigation.- Advertisement – last_img read more

25th annual Intercultural Festival held at UNCW

first_img00:00 00:00 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 WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –UNCW students and employees, along with Wilmington locals, had the chance to learn about lots of different cultures Saturday at the university’s 25th annual Intercultural Festival.35 different countries were represented during the event at the Burney Center.- Advertisement – Attendees were able to try ethnic food, learn about life in other countries, and watch cultural performances.UNCW’s international students were excited to show off where they came from.“I think the international students are really proud that they have an opportunity like today to tell people about their countries. I think it dispels a lot of myths that people have and the community loves to learn as well, particularly the kids,” said Jennifer Fernandez-Villa, the director of UNCW’s International Student and Scholar Services department.Related Article: NC universities head Margaret Spellings quits amid turmoilThe growth of this festival over the last 25 years mirrors the growth of UNCW’s international program.More than one thousands students studied abroad last year and there are four hundred international students currently on campus.last_img read more

WPD searching for hit and run suspects who struck school bus

first_img Two men get out of a car and run after hitting a school bus (Photo: Wilmington Police Dept.) – Advertisement – Cameras capture the moment a green car crashes into a school bus (Photo: Wilmington Police Dept.) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Cameras on a New Hanover County school bus recorded the moment a green car hit the school bus and another car.It happened at South 13th and Ann Streets around 3:30 p.m. on January 18.center_img 1 of 2 Police say with the help of witnesses, the suspects, who are between 18-20 years old, got out of the car and ran off.The car they were driving is a 1998 green Buick.The driver was wearing grey pants, a white t-shirt, a black jacket, black shoes and has a slim build. The passenger was wearing black pants, a red jacket with a logo, a white shirt and has a medium build.Related Article: Wilmington Police arrest multiple people on drug chargesThe witness who was standing at the 1 Stop Shop at the time of the crash and helped the passenger out of the car is also  wanted for questioning.Anyone with information should contact the Wilmington Police Department at (910) 343-3600. If tipsters would like to remain anonymous please call Crime Stoppers at (910) 763-3888 or 1 (800) 531-9845.last_img read more

First Lady Kristin Cooper visits Belville Elementary as example of successful school

first_img Mrs. Cooper says it is good to see kids are getting all the resources they need. She believes technological advancements, like smart boards in the classroom, will help schools and the state reach their ultimate goal.“The ultimate goal is that everyone would graduate from high school at the very least and have a skill that they can take on either in a technical area or on to college so that we have our kids equipped for the twenty-first century,” Cooper said.When it comes to school safety she said it scares her that we live in a world where kids need to do shooter drills.Related Article: Bolivia teacher incorporates technology to aid 21st-century learners“I find the fact that those kindergarteners have a drill where they’re herded into a closet, the lights are turned out, they’re told to be quiet because somebody might shoot them,” she said. “Just thinking of that happening on a regular basis to kids, i think really alarms me as a mother and what kind of affect that might be having on them.”Cooper believes many things can be done to curb gun violence, like making it harder to get assault weapons, more screenings and not allowing people on no-fly lists to purchase weapons.While at the school, she sat in on science and spelling lessons. She says the science lesson seemed really hard, but enjoyed spelling with the kindergarteners. BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina’s First Lady was in Brunswick County today to get a firsthand look at successful schools.Kristin Cooper toured classrooms and participated in lessons at Belville Elementary.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Officials respond to mobile home fire in Burgaw

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — One person is safe after an early morning fire in Burgaw on Monday.According to Fire Marshal Tommy Batson, it happened around 2:45 a.m. on Meadow Lane. Batson said Burgaw Fire Dept., Rocky Point Fire Dept. and Pender County EMS all responded.- Advertisement – When officials arrived, they saw smoke coming from the mobile home. Batson said the person living in the home was able to get out with no injuries, thanks to working smoke detectors.The fire is now out and the cause is still under investigation.last_img