The Disability Pride flag. A black background with red, yellow, white, blue and green stripes moving diagonally from top left to bottom right.

Disability Rights Taskforce Newsletter – Spring 2024

FTWW is a member of The Welsh Government’s Disability Rights Taskforce, and our staff, Trustees and Volunteers also represent the charity on the various working groups that feed into it. We’re delighted to share the Taskforce’s latest newsletter, which details  progress made with their work since issuing the Winter newsletter in 2023.    Disability Rights Taskforce Newsletter – Spring 2024 Vision for Wales: Improving outcomes for disabled people. We want to ask your views on our idea for communicating our co-produced work and our vision for equality for disabled people in Wales. The idea builds upon the hard work and…

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Update from the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce

We’re delighted to bring you an update from the Disability Rights Taskforce, in which FTWW and our volunteers regularly participate. The Taskforce sends a big thank you to members of the working groups which have now concluded their deliberations, all of which have been Chaired by people with their own lived experience of disability. The working groups saw people with lived experience and expertise, disabled people’s organisations, and Welsh Government policy leads coming together to hear about the things that are important to disabled and chronically ill people and to think about how to remove barriers affecting their lives. Recommendations…

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Experts call for urgent mental health support for people living with long term autoimmune diseases

A new study has highlighted the shocking mismatch of clinician and patients experiences of neurological and mental health issues in people with autoimmune rheumatological conditions. More than half of patients with auto-immune conditions experience mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, yet the majority are rarely or never asked in clinic about mental health symptoms, according to new research from the University of Cambridge and King’s College London. Read more, here. 

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The Disability Pride flag. A black background with red, yellow, white, blue and green stripes moving diagonally from top left to bottom right.

Disability Pride – is disability something to be ‘proud’ of? We say, ‘yes’ – and here’s why.

Disability Pride Month was born in the USA in 1990, when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed to prevent discrimination against disabled people. It is now a global act of celebration – and an act of protest: the first Disability Pride Parade in the UK took place in Brighton in 2016. Disability Pride Month exists to change the way people think about and define disability (and, yes, that can also include people living with chronic and recurrent health conditions)! It also aims to end the internalised ableism experienced by many disabled people, and to promote the knowledge across…

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Senedd Inquiry: Supporting People with Chronic Conditions – Responses Published

The Senedd Health & Social Care Committee has published responses to its inquiry into support for those living with chronic conditions in Wales. FTWW submitted feedback, noting that our members had provided some of the most powerful and compelling testimonies we have ever received for a consultation like this. With permission, we included some of their accounts.  We also responded on behalf of the Women’s Health Wales Coalition, and were pleased to see the Women’s Health Cross Party Group, chaired by Jenny Rathbone MS, advising that FTWW be sought out by the Committee for further evidence of patient experiences and…

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#EmbracingEquity in female health – Our blog for WCVA

Thanks to WCVA for featuring our International Women’s Day blog, which explores the need to #EmbraceEquity in Health in Wales. FTWW’s members describe many & varied barriers to accessing optimum healthcare; our aim is to raise awareness and offer solutions! Read it here: https://wcva.cymru/views/embracingequity-in-female-health/

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a collage of a photo of Dee, a white woman with purple and pink hair, the i logo, the Rebel Bodies cover, and the headline from the article.

Rebel Bodies: A guide to the gender health gap revolution

This month saw the release of Sarah Graham’s debut book, Rebel Bodies: A Guide to the Gender Health Gap Revolution – and you can read an exclusive extract in The i Paper! The extract focuses on endometriosis and includes the battle to get diagnosed by our Engagement Officer, Dee. The article also highlights the work of FTWW and others in campaigning for mandatory menstrual wellbeing education here in Wales, and our work in advising Welsh Government.  We are delighted to be included in this vital, inclusive book, and we’d like to recommend it to anyone with an interest in, or lived experience…

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Disability History Month – Taskforce representation

16 November – 16 December is Disability History Month, and this year’s theme is Disability, Health and Well Being. The Covid Pandemic has demonstrated across the UK and around the world just how fragile the Rights disabled people have secured for themselves are, and this was of course highlighted in the Locked Out report. We are pleased therefore to continue our representation on Welsh Government’s co-produced Disability Rights Taskforce, representing members across a number of working groups – including Independent Living: Health and Wellbeing, which held its first meeting on 23 November and was Chaired by our very own trustee, Willow. 

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Jane Hutt MS

Period Proud – Jane Hutt MS thanks FTWW

Heledd Fychan MS led a short debate about enshrining the strategy on period poverty in legislation, like the Scottish Government’s Period Products (Free Provision) Act 2021. The Minister for Social Justice announced a plan for eliminating period poverty and achieving period dignity for all by 2027 was coming soon. The minister also thanked campaigners and organisations who have supported the work, including FTWW. You can read the full transcript of the debate, here: https://record.assembly.wales/Plenary/13044#A75684

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Disability Rights Taskforce

As part of the work of the Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce, two working groups met this month, ‘Understanding and Embedding the Social Model of Disability’, and ‘Access to Services’.  At FTWW, we know that widespread understanding and usage of the social model would help many of our members living with chronic health conditions feel better equipped to ensure their rights are upheld. Meanwhile, key points raised at the ‘Access to Services’ group included the need for inclusivity in all things, starting with businesses’ accessibility information. For more information on the Disability Rights working groups, including opportunities to get involved, please…

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FTWW Supports Social Justice

FTWW is delighted to offer support to the Welsh Government’s Social Justice portfolio, particularly at this time the Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce.   A number of our volunteers will be on Working Groups, including Health & Wellbeing, Embedding the Social Model, and Access to Services. We are pleased to be supporting our trustee, Willow Holloway, herself a disabled woman, to take up the role of co-Chair of the Health & Wellbeing working group.  This work is particularly vital at a time when many disabled people are likely to be experiencing pronounced hardship in the face of the rising cost of living…

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UK Health Radio’s Autistic Voices welcomes Willow

FTWW Trustee, Willow Holloway, recently featured on UK Health Radio’s Autistic Voices programme, hosted by Evalynne Charmer. Willow told Evalynne about her roles with FTWW, Autistic UK, the Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project, and Disability Wales, and about her lived experience as a late-diagnosed autistic woman. Tune in here.

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The Welsh Government logo – a white dragon illustration on a red background, with white text underneath reading ‘Llywodraeth Cymru Welsh Government’.

Welsh Government Job Opportunities to Support the Disability Equality Task Force

The Welsh Government is seeking to recruit 3 managers for the interface between the Disability Taskforce, Welsh Government policy and statistical / data analysis teams, disability organisations, the Disability Equality Forum and other interested groups. They will work closely with the Chairs of the Taskforce and Taskforce members. The roles will also support the Taskforce by managing the work of the Taskforce and any sub-groups. The Disability Taskforce was set up in response to the Locked Out Report, which highlighted the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Disabled people.  You can find out more by downloading the adverts below.  SEO-…

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International Day of Disabled People

On Tuesday 30 November, Jane Hutt MS, the Minister for Social Justice, delivered a speech to the Senedd regarding the United Nations International Day of Disabled People, which falls on Friday 3 December. The theme for 2021 is ‘fighting for rights in the post-COVID era’.  The Minister acknowledged the work of the Disability Task Force, of which FTWW is a member organisation, following the Locked out report, which highlighted the devastating impact of the pandemic on disabled people in Wales. She also reaffirmed Welsh Government’s commitment to the social model of disability, saying, “We know that it is our society’s…

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a screengrab from a BBC Breakfast report. Dee, a white woman with dark hair wearing a blue floral dress, sits with the Newport Transporter Bridge in the background. She's not looking at the camera - she's speaking to the reporter who is out of shot.

Opinion: Engage Britain – Why we must be able to critique the NHS

By Dee Montague, Engagement Officer at FTWW Earlier this year, FTWW facilitated two focus groups as part of Engage Britain’s community conversations around health and social care. Our conversations were two of 101 held across Great Britain, looking to find out more about people’s positive – and negative – experiences of health and social services. One of our groups focused entirely on endometriosis, and the second had a general ‘women’s health’ focus. As part of the publicity around Engage Britain’s conversations and subsequent survey results, I was asked to be a case study for the BBC coverage, and was interviewed…

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FTWW’s Response to ‘Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond Covid-19’

FTWW welcomes the publication of, ‘Locked out…’, a ground-breaking report on the impact of Covid19 on disabled people in Wales. We were pleased to be among the diverse and intersectional group of disabled people and organisations involved in coproducing it. We are encouraged that the report had Welsh Government’s full support throughout, and has been published it in its entirety with no redactions. A Minister-led task force is now being created, co-chaired by members of the disabled community, to implement recommendations. This will mean that the voices and experiences of disabled people in Wales are properly heard throughout discussions and that,…

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Welsh Government Publishes Report on Impact of Covid-19 on Disabled People

Today, Welsh Government has published ‘Locked out: liberating disabled people’s lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19‘, a report about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled people here in Wales. The hard-hitting report also highlights recommendations to be implemented moving forward.  FTWW was a member organisation of the Disability Equality Forum Steering Group, which was involved in coproducing the report, and was delighted to have the opportunity to represent the views of Disabled* women and those assigned female at birth (AFAB). In response to the Report’s publication, the Steering Group has released the statement below:  ‘As the Disability…

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