chapter  12
15 Pages

The onset of austerity in the United Kingdom and start of a disability activism

WithEleanor Lisney

For many people the onset of austerity in the UK started when the coalition government got into power in 2010. The Independent Living Fund (ILF) was a government-funded discretionary scheme which helped people who had high day and night care needs. Racism is embedded in the system and people who have never encountered it can never understand how insidious it can be. Disabled women still have the stigma of being seen as asexual and not recognized as being women, and therefore are perceived not to partake of the rites of passage of being lovers, wives and mothers. Disabled women also feel isolation and loneliness due to the lack of mainstream acceptance and access to events, for instance, at the women’s marches. As for disabled women, austerity cuts deep into services and access to independent living, which intersects with other barriers.