29 June: Cameron praises volunteers for sprucing up east London’s waterways
Volunteers with learning disabilities have been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Big Society award for their club for transforming run-down open spaces along east London’s canals and waterways. More >
28 June: Welsh government to create national college of social care
The Welsh government is proposing to set up a national college of social care to further support and professionalise frontline social workers, care staff and managers. More >
27 June: Learning to live with my son's autism
Novelist David Mitchell looks back on the heartbreak – and joy – of learning that his son had autism. Plus an extract from the book by a young Japanese boy that helped him. More >
The reason I jump
David Mitchell has also written a Radio 4 Book of the Week Blog about 'The Reason I jump' by Naoki Higashida, the book that has given him such an insight into autism. More >
24 June: Man with learning disabilities receives MBE
Richard West, who is deaf and has a learning disability, has received an MBE for services to the arts and disabled people in the Queen’s birthday honours list. West said: “I feel honoured to have been given this award, which means so much to me and the work I do to help improve the lives of people with learning disabilities. It came as a huge shock and surprise. More >
18 June: Has the Mental Capacity Act been a success?
The new Lords select committee set up to examine the effectiveness of the Mental Capacity Act will launch its inquiry with an evidence session on Tuesday, 18 June. More about the Committee and its remit > You can watch the committee meeting on Parliament TV >
17 June: CQC consultation on the future of inspection and regulation
Plans to change the way health and social care is regulated have been published by the Care Quality Commission. These plans follow from the recommendations made in the Government’s response to Robert Francis’ report into failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and other reviews.
11 June: Shining a light on Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Report published on research undertaken by the University of Sheffield with Barnsley Hospital aimed to provide robust evidence of how many people in the UK could benefit from AAC and to provide for the first time a picture of current AAC service provision in the UK. More >
8 June: New guide to help people exercise their freedom
Written by Dr Simon Duffy, Freedom, published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, offers practical advice on how to offer support while enabling people with learning disabilities to exercise freedom of choice as much as possible. More >
6 June: Strategic role for the CDC
The Council for Disabled Children have been appointed as SEN and disability Strategic Reform Partner to the Department for Education. They will be developing information highlighting key aspects of the reform process in order to support the engagement of a broad range of stakeholders. More in their newsletter >
5 June: Partners joint statement 2 years after Winterbourne View
The Department of Health, NHS England, Local Government Association, Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Care Quality Commission and the National Forum of People with Learning Disabilities have issued a statement. More >
5 June: Looking for love?
Betty TV, producers of Channel 4's hit series, The Undateables, are looking for people for the next series. We will be following disabled people and those with a variety of conditions through the highs and lows of finding love. If you are single and looking for love please get in touch on 0207 290 0223
or email email@example.com Download the information flier >
3 June: New York adopts a new disability symbol - will others follow? A revamped version of the familiar blue-and-white disability icon will soon be rolling out across parking signs, bathroom doors and accessible entry ramps in New York City, thanks to a group of activists who say the traditional logo portrays them as limited, helpless and inaccurately passive.
27 May: Gala fundraising night a fantastic success Bank holiday Monday saw a fantastic charity night at the Queen's Arms, Brighton. Channel 4's The Undateables stars BILD's Kate Brackley and Sam Culpeck were the guests of honour and £1,100 was raised for BILD and the Martlets Hospice in Brighton.
Enjoying life while raising money for good causes - brilliant work. A massive thank you to organiser Kevin Calladine and all involved from everyone at BILD.
14 May: Disabled row councillor investigated by police
A Cornwall councillor who said disabled children should be "put down" is being investigated by police. Collin Brewer resigned earlier this year after his comments. He apologised and was re-elected earlier this month to the county's unitary authority. Devon and Cornwall Police said he was now being investigated after complaints about a recent interview with the Disability News Service website. More >
Read the latest from the Downssideup Blog about this >
9 May: Care homes face prosecution if abuse concerns are not reported Care homes will face prosecution if they do not report concerns that their staff are mistreating patients. The "duty of candour" on social care providers, a recommendation in the Francis report into the Mid Staffs NHS scandal, will be set out by health secretary Jeremy Hunt and would mean industry executives would have to tell health regulators if they thought their employees might be harming or neglecting elderly people. More >
3 May: 'Disabled children cost too much and should be put down' Councillor relected Collin Brewer, Councillor for the Wadebridge East seat in Cornwall who said 'disabled children cost too much and should be put down' and then resigned, has stood again andhas been relected, by just two votes. More > Coverage of his previous resignation > Downssideup blog response >
30 April: Lamb moots return of CQC ratings of adult social services The government may reintroduce assessments of the quality of council adult social services less than three years after abolishing them, care services minister Norman Lamb has said, he also threatens to 'name and shame' commissioners who fail to meet post-Winterbourne targets to review needs of people with learning disabilities placed in hospitals. More >
25 April: Treat 17-year-olds in police custody as children, court rules The High Court has ruled that 17-year-olds who are arrested and taken into police custody should be treated as children. In a landmark judgement, judges Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker ruled that treating 17-year-olds at the police station in the same way as adults is unlawful. More >
25 April: Latest Access to Work statistics show halt to fall in new recipients After significant drops in the take-up of Access to Work since 2009 the latest figures show an increase of numbers helped including new claimants. More >
24 April: Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry reveals scale of illegal school exclusions Dr Maggie Atkinson, Children's Commissioner for England publishes findings from her School Exclusions Inquiry in her report, "Always Someone Else's Problem". It follows last year's report when, for the first time on record, schools admitted illegally excluding children. The report, supported by a survey of teachers, details the scale and nature of children illegally excluded. At a conservative estimate, this affects thousands of children in several hundred schools. More >
24 April: Failing social services may be going unchallenged, warns CQC chief Failing adult social services departments may be going unchallenged under the sector-led improvement regime brought in to replace annual assessments by the Care Quality Commission, the CQC's chief executive warns. More >
23 April: 'Sex abuse... even murder: How human rights are putting the mentally disabled in deadly peril' Daily Mail article by Rosa Monckton about the issues behind her organising a 'Right to Care' seminar in the House of Commons on 24 April. More >
22 April: Staff at NHS unit repeatedly abused severely disabled patients Vulnerable adults with disabilities such as learning difficulties, autism and dementia were allegedly subjected to horrific ill-treatment, including being slapped, punched, threatened, dragged by their hair and thrown into a ball pool. Many of the victims are unable to speak, and other health workers were too scared to report the shocking assaults because they felt “intimidated” by the perpetrators, Sheffield Crown Court was told. More >
22 April: Labour launches commission on integrating health and social care Labour has set up a commission to examine how best to integrate health and social care services in England in order to save money and deliver "whole-person care". The commission on whole person care, which will be chaired by John Oldham, a GP and former national clinical lead for quality and productivity at the Department of Health. More >
9 April: Respond to launch Winterbourne View Helpline From 11 April Respond are launching the Winterbourne View Helpline, 0808 808 0700 which is open Thursdays from 10 am - 4 pm. Funded by the Department of Health, this is for former patients, their families, friends, professionals and others affected by the abuse at Winterbourne View. More >
5 April: Funding to support learning and development of personal assistants
Skills for Care is making over £1m of funding available through the Workforce Development Fund to support the learning and development of personal assistants and their individual employers. This is funded by the Department of Health as one of the priorities highlighted in the White Paper, Caring for our future: reforming care and support. The aim is to use the funding to drive the ongoing development of PAs and their employers by offering grants that are paid up front and includes associated costs, such as replacement/additional PA costs and travel. More >
3 April: Mencap launch Charter for Clinical Commissioning Groups Mencap has launched a charter to eliminate health inequalities in the NHS, as new research reveals that over 1,200 people with a learning disability die prematurely every year in NHS care. They have aimed the charter at GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which replaced Primary Care Trusts on 1st April. More >
1 April: Major changes to the NHS from today 1 April saw the biggest reform to the NHS in its 65-year history, bringing substantial changes for health professionals in England. Community Care explains what's gone, what's come and how things will change >