We met our MP – Call to Action for DSA
I met my MP Graham Stuart, on Saturday 14th June 2014 , with my daughter Phoebe to talk about proposed changes to Disabled Student Allowances (DSA).
I am writing this blog because
I told him of my disappointment about his lack of knowledge on this topic and signposted him to the following information about the DSA changes:
To see David Willet’s statement about changes to DSA Click here:
Read the press release from National Association of Disability Practitioners click here
Read the response from the National Union of Students here
My MP’s lack of awareness was especially disappointing as over the last fortnight I have written to him twice on the subject of DSA. The first time I used the very easy to use template letter from the National Union of Students and on the second occasion I sent him a more personal letter requesting he signed the Early Day Motion 48. I have also copied him in on several Fb posts and included his Twitter name @grahamstuart in my tweets.
I informed him that he can search Twitter for tweets about proposed changes to DSA using the #Don’tCutMeOut or #DegreesofDiscrimination that was used for the Twitter lobby organised by the NUS 6th of June that Phoebe and I took part in.
To prepare for the meeting I used a great template from the NUS forwarded to me in a personal email from Ruth Breidenbach-Roe Public Affairs Officer of the NUS listing things to discuss with your MP and explicitly ask them to act upon. This helped me put the case forward and ask for 3 specific things I want my MP to do about DSA.
Phoebe asked him a question
“How can I make an informed choice about what university I go to if I do not know what support that university will have in place if I do not qualify for DSA.”
He made some intelligent observations in response to these points which gave me some idea that he saw the potential difficulties of implementation. Though, he stated that he could not commit to the 3 things I had asked him as he needed to read the EDM first and my letter.
I gave him copies of the letters I had already sent to him and the mindmaps I had made reiterating our points. In addition, I asked him to email once he had made a decision – another great tip from the NUS – to make sure he does read the information and make a decision as to where he stands on the subject. This also enables the NUS can monitor the success of the lobbying.
I now know will read about the proposed DSA changes with a better understanding and so make an informed choice – whether I agree with it or not. As we left he wished Phoebe good luck and asked me
“Have you ever thought of going into politics?”
We made our point!
Jim and I both received support via DSA and we urge you to make your point. We know filling in forms and writing letters can be daunting so here is a list to make it as easy as possible.
How you can you get involved:
Share that you have signed the e-petition on social media – there are links on the e-petition page – to make it for others to do the same please copy the e-petition link below http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63748
Find out who your MP is here and write to them – you can use this template letter
Post on Twitter and Facebook using hashtags #Don’tCutMeOut #DegreesofDiscrimination Include the link to the e-petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/63748
Add a twibbon to your social media profile
Signpost people this blog to make it as easy as possible for them to get involved by clicking links
Leave a comment here on this blog or on my Fb page
Visit the National Union of Students website for even more ideas and template
The NUS could not make it easier for you with to lobby your MP
Links to sites to find out who your MP is, their address and how to meet them
The NUS is also looking for personal stories, case studies and pictures of you – look at these students responses that have been shared already.
I hope this will inspire you to take action and say to DON’T CUT ME OUT to your MP.
AND REMEMBER to let everyone know what you are doing.