As part of its 'Cataract Campaign', the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) has launched a report which concludes that 57% of England's local healthcare administrative bodies, primary-care trusts (PCTs), are restricting access to cataract surgery, forcing thousands of people to live with serious and unnecessary sight loss. The majority of PCTs, notes the report, have arbitrary restrictions on eligibility for cataract surgery, and “are not taking into account the debilitating impact that a cataract can have on a person's life--such as preventing them from reading, driving, and staying safe when out and about”. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens, causing washed out, misty vision. The condition can easily be treated with a replacement artificial lens in a 30-minute operation, and is one of the most cost-effective surgical procedures carried out by the National Health Service (NHS) in England.
The Rome-based civic group Cittadinanzattiva has initiated a campaign to secure more government funds for services for people with a disability, emphasising that individuals who claim for disability services should not be regarded by society as 'scroungers'. The campaign has been titled, with deliberate irony, Sono un VIP (I am a VIP), linking the phrases 'Very Important Person' with 'Very Invalid Person' (invalid meaning someone with a disability).
Rome-based civic group Cittadinanzattiva has favourably reviewed a new comedy film, Quasi Amici. The film tells of the relationship between a rich aristocrat (who has paraplegia) and his carer (who is just out of prison). Cittadinanzattiva praises the film for dealing with the subject of paralysis with sensitivity and humour, while highlighting the difficulties of living with a disability. The link above leads to a trailer of the film. Quasi Amici has, in fact, been broadly welcomed by the whole Italian disability community. Associazione di Promozione Sociale ONLUS has a blog on the film: http://genitoritosti.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/quasi-amici.html
The 'Every Disabled Child Matters' campaign (EDCM) has raised concerns at some of the findings contained in a UK Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, ‘Healthcare for Disabled Children and Young People’, published on Thursday 22nd March 2012. The report indicates that primary-care trusts/PCTs (which are a set of administrative bodies running healthcare services in the UK at local level), when replying to a self-assessment questionnaire, declared "high levels of access and user-centred care". The EDCM campaign, however, insists that this finding is at odds with feedback from families with disabled children, who refer to long waits for diagnosis, disjointed provision, and a lack of responsiveness to the problems experienced by the families.
'Every Disabled Child Matters' is a national campaign to gain rights and justice for every disabled child, and is run in the UK by four leading organizations working with disabled children and their families: Contact a Family, the Council for Disabled Children, Mencap, and the Special Educational Consortium. Find out more at: http://www.edcm.org.uk