Socialist Worker

Deaf and disabled people take on Tories

by Ellen Clifford
Issue No. 2473

Arriving at Downing Street in central London

Arriving at Downing Street in central London (Pic: @resistunite)


Around 1,000 deaf and disabled people marched on Downing Street last Saturday. 

They were protesting over the effect of cuts to the government’s Access to Work scheme (ATW).

This was one of the biggest mobilisations of deaf people in over a decade. 

Protesters held up traffic, and handed in a petition signed by over 20,000 people.

ATW was set up to provide support to deaf and disabled people in finding and keeping work. 

This can include funding adaptations, aids and equipment, personal assistance and sign language interpreters.

But changes to the scheme are making it harder to access. Some people are having their support taken away, others will face a cap on their packages. 

Geraldine O’Halloran, co-founder of the StopChanges2ATW campaign, said the “intolerable” strain was already driving many deaf and disabled out of work. 

Roger Lewis of Disabled People Against Cuts told Socialist Worker, “We saw deaf people marching with and identifying with disabled people and trade unionists in a common cause. 

“This opens up new and very exciting opportunities for broadening and bringing new forces into the fight against the Tories.”


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