“And finally, the case shows that the closure of the ILF is having a real and detrimental impact on disabled people’s lives. We should not underestimate the significance of what it means that a care plan that has been held in place with the same staff for 18 years (that’s HUGE in an industry with such massive staff turnover) is now at risk. It says something huge about the wider political landscape, that for 18 years disabled people like Luke Davey were able to rely upon the ILF to build lives, lives that really did afford independence in the meaning of the CRPD, and now those structures that once seemed so stable, are fragmenting. This judgment is a lesson in the legal and rhetorical tactics that paper over this fragmentation and legitimise it, and a portrait of the shifting tectonic plates of the political landscape as disabled people’s lives fall through the cracks.”
Anyone with an interest in independent living must read the (depressing) judgment in Davey v Oxfordshire CC, handed down yesterday. It touches upon such important issues as the domestic legal status of Article 19 CRPD, the meaning(s) of independence, and how effectively independent living is realised by the Care Act 2014.
In (very) brief, Luke Davey is a disabled adult, who had been living in his own home with (more or less) 24 hour support from a team of personal assistants who had supported him for 18 years. They were, to Davey, his ‘community’, his ‘family’ (some of them literally, as he employed his sister in law). On Davey’s own assessment, his independence was central to his wellbeing, and this in turn relied upon his being supported by this team of PAs. His package of care had been partially funded by the Independent Living Fund, which has now closed, and the local authority were…
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