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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Opening Ceremony Paralympics. *WAS* atos branding hidden by athletes?

Via Ch4 news blogs

THURSDAY 30 AUGUST 2012

Did GB Paralympians choose to hide ATOS branding?


Disability campaigners took to Twitter last night during the
Paralympics opening ceremony to speculate on why ParaGB athletes had
hidden the Atos branding on their passes.



The company, which holds the £100 million Government contract to carry
out controversial "fit to work" tests, has been fiercely criticised by
some for its role in slashing the benefits bill.

As a main sponsor, Atos has its logo clearly featured on Paralympic
signs and the accreditation lanyards (the tape that is used to hang a
pass around the neck) which are worn by all athletes, officials, media
and volunteers.

But Locog today said it was unaware that athletes had concealed the
branding and again defended its use of Atos as a sponsor.

"They are one of our sponsors. Without them, as I said yesterday, we
don't have a Games," said Locog's director of communications, Jackie
Brock-Doyle.



'Clear message'

Disability activist Kaliya Franklin told Channel 4 News that the
protest by ParaGB was "incredibly powerful" in its message to the
wider disabled community.

"It says we've found a way to show solidarity with you that doesn't
breach regulation or contravene the spirit of the Paralympics.

"Our Paralympic heroes are sending a clear message to the wider
disability community that they're not entirely comfortable with Atos
sponsoring the games.

Our Paralympic heroes are sending a clear message to the wider
disability community that they're not entirely comfortable with Atos
sponsoring the games. "They're saying that this is not an acceptable
way to treat disabled people.

- Kaliya Franklin, disability activist

"They're saying that this is not an acceptable way to treat disabled
people," Ms Franklin said.

At the Olympic park the day after the opening ceremony Channel 4 News
spoke to Tracey Homden, who has partial feeling in her feet and hands,
short term memory problems and fluid on the brain following a car
accident in 2009. She supports any demonstration against Atos which
found her fit to work, a decision that was later overturned at appeal.
Ms Homden says that the whole system of disability benefits needs "a
kick" and that it's a "battle" to get any benefits.

The Chief Executive of UK Disabled People's Council Jaspal Dhani told
Channel 4 News

: "We've received many reports from members who have been assessed and
lost benefits and many people have appealed. In one case our chairman
represented an individual at tribunal and it took nine months during
which time the individual was without benefits, so I don't know how
they survived."

More protests

Activists from UK Uncut and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) are
pressing forward with demonstrations against Atos, vowing to shut down
its HQ in Central central London.

Tara Flood, a gold-winning former Paralympian, has come out in support
of the campaign.



"It is a shocking irony that Atos is a main sponsor of London 2012
whilst destroying disabled people's lives on behalf of the
government," she said.

But Kaliya Franklin told Channel 4 News that the criticism needs to be
directed at the government's Department of Work and Pensions.

"The root of the problem is the DWP. It will be pleased with all the
negative attention Atos receive because it's deflected away from the
DWP.

"But ultimately, the government sets the guidelines and the descriptors.

"Atos workers are just doing their job and following them. Most of
these people are trying to do they best they can in incredibly
difficult circumstances," she said.

Atos is in the running to secure a string of multimillion-pound
government contracts to deliver eligibility assessments for
independence payments which are set to replace Disability Living
Allowance (DLA) in 2013.

Around 500,000 people are expected to lose this benefit over four
years as the government tightens its criteria to qualify for payment.


---------------------
#DidDLAhelp is running on twitter for use as protest against
introduction of PIP.
--
*Thanks

Jules

*

1 comment:

  1. I’m so happy to read this. This is the type of details that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this great post.

    ReplyDelete