Disabled People Against Cuts
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DPAC is about disabled people and their allies. DPAC is UK based but we know that disabled people in other countries are suffering from austerity cuts and a lack of fundamental rights. We welcome all to join us in fighting for justice and human rights for all disabled people.
Disabled people should not be the scapegoats for the financial mistakes of governments, should not be constantly told that there is no money to support them by millionaire politicians. We will not tolerate further erosion of our living conditions or our human rights, nor will we sit quietly while they try to take our rights away.
DPAC was formed by a group of disabled people after the 3rd October 2010 mass protests against cuts in Birmingham, England. The 3rd October saw the first mass protest against the austerity cuts and their impact on disabled people-It was led by disabled people under the name of The Disabled Peoples’ Protest.
DPAC co-founders are the original Disabled Peoples’ Protest organisers. Most important of all: all those that marched in the pouring rain on October the 3rd, all those that joined the virtual protest, and all those that supported us with email campaigns and messages when the march was threatened: all made DPAC a reality.
DPAC is for everyone who believes that disabled people should have full human rights and equality. It is for everyone that refuses to accept that any country can destroy the lives of people just because they are or become disabled or have chronic health issues. It is for everyone against government austerity measures which target the poor while leaving the wealthy unscathed. It is for everyone who refuses to stay silent about the injustices delivered by wealthy politicians on ordinary people and their lives.
Since 2010 we have opposed the brutal and disproportionate impacts of austerity and welfare reform on disabled people. During the pandemic these cuts have been further highlighted in all areas of support for independent living and cuts to incomes for both those in work, self employment or in receipt of social security payments. Shielding and other safety measures disabled people have had to deal with has increased social isolation and their exclusion from society.
The UK government was the first country investigated using the Optional Protocols in the UNCRPD and found guilty of the grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights following an unprecedented UN inquiry initiated by us. Unlike other countries the UK still has to make annual reports to the UN about the lack of progress to protect disabled peoples' human rights and lives.
DPAC is a founding member of the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) which is a national network of grassroots Deaf and disabled people led organisations and campaign groups.
ROFA campaigns in the tradition of the British disabled people’s movement which emerged in the 1970s through the struggles of disabled people with physical impairments to escape life in residential institutions in order to live in the community with choice and control over their own lives.
There are now nearly 14 million disabled people in the UK. Disabled people make up 22% of the population and the numbers are rising.
Disabled people are the world’s largest minority and yet our lives remain largely hidden while public understanding of disability abounds with misconceptions
DPAC campaigns from the Social model of disability which draws a distinction between disability and impairment. Disability is imposed on top of our impairments as a result of social oppression. Disabled People also cross every other equality strand so our work is by definition intersectional in nature.
DPAC has campaigned for independent living as outlined in article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People which refers to the right to live in the community with choice and control over your own life and enough support to enjoy the same opportunities as non-disabled people.
DPAC also believe in Rights not Charity a principle central to disabled people led organisations rejecting the tragedy model of disability and the exploitation of disabled people this causes.