December 2011

Minister for Employment Chris Grayling has welcomed initial estimates from Work Programme providers which show twenty per cent of people referred to the Work Programme are receiving support from the voluntary sector.

Carley Consult is reporting that DWP has awarded the new concession agreement for the delivery of the Merlin Standard Assessment, Accreditation and Web Portal Service to emqc Ltd.

The Scottish Government has announced plans to integrate adult social care and health using Health & Social Care Partnerships.

The Office for Disability Issues has published the first wave of research of a Life Opportunities Survey that compares how disabled and non-disabled people participate in society. It also looks at issues such as living standards, housing, discrimination and crime. http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/about-the-odi/odi-news.php#opportunities

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a challenging Viewpoint by Jenny Morris in which she looks back at policy developments over the last 20 years and makes proposals for more radical challenges to the current disability policy agenda.

The European Union has published a compendium of good practice in supported employment across Europe. They have also released a directory of relevant contacts within the supported employment sector across Europe.

Oldham Council's Wellbeing Service has earned national recognition for its important work in supporting disabled people into work. The service has won the Good Practice in Employing Disabled People category at the National Independent Living Awards (NILA) 2011, run by Breakthrough UK ­ a national charity that supports people with disabilities to lead independent lives and access employment opportunities.

The Government has published a discussion paper and is seeking to work with disabled people to gather suggestions for a new cross-government disability strategy.

The paper, Fulfilling Potential, describes the Government’s ambition to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and have opportunities to play a full role in society. This new strategy will build on previous discussions with disabled people, including the Independent Living Strategy, the Roadmap and the UK’s report to the UN on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.