Month: July 2019

By Raya Al Jadir A disabled actor artist and acti

first_imgBy Raya Al JadirA disabled actor, artist and activist has criticised the film industry for its continuing failure to address discrimination, after he was dropped from a role and replaced with a non-disabled actor.Chris Tally Evans (pictured) was originally handed the part of a blind man in the short film In This House, following a successful screen test, after being recommended to film-makers Tree Top Films by Disability Arts Cymru.Evans was asked to provide a “showreel” of his film and television performances, but his roles had come before he lost his sight and so were on obsolete video formats.In the early 1990s, after he lost his sight, he found it impossible to take part in casting sessions because of the lack of access, but he was able to provide Tree Top Films with examples of his work in his own films, live performances and appearances on BBC current affairs programmes.Because he did not have a showreel, the film’s funders, Ffilm Cymru Wales (FCW), asked him to record his own monologue, and then take part in another screen test.Evans was then told by email by Tree Top Films that he had been dropped from the part because FCW wanted a more “established” actor.Just 10 days later, he received another email, this time from the equality charity Diverse Cymru, asking him to act as a consultant on the film to help the non-disabled actor playing the part he had originally been given.Evans admitted to feeling “cheated” out of a role he was deemed to be “not good enough” for, and noted the irony of how he and other disabled actors are overlooked for parts but are then needed as consultants.He said: “It is a backward attitude and not in the spirit of equality.”Tree Top Films has now apologised for the way it treated Evans.Owain Hopkins, creative director of Tree Top Films, said the company had “scoured south Wales” to find a visually-impaired actor to play the part, but had been unsuccessful and so “had no option but to cast a non-visually-impaired actor”.He admitted that Evans had originally been offered the part, but said: “On viewing the footage from the screen test, we realised that Chris was not the right actor for our film.“This is not an uncommon practice in the film industry.”He insisted that “not casting Chris had absolutely nothing to do with his disability”, and that the company was “committed to supporting disabled actors”.Pauline Burt, chief executive of FCW, said her organisation was “committed to supporting the sector to improve their working practices to encourage greater diversity in the workforce”.She said: “It is clear that more could be done to facilitate those with disabilities to enter and continue to work in the sector and to that end we are currently working with Diverse Cymru to develop best practice guidance for the sector.“As a general principle, we would support and prefer to see roles authentically played – however, there is no reason to confine actors with disabilities to disabled roles.“And it is important to take full consideration of the specific circumstances of any given film: that includes assessment of any inappropriate trauma that might arise from the particular demands of the role, the availability of cast, and their suitability for the role.”Michael Flynn, director of influencing and partnerships at Diverse Cymru, said Evans’ experience would be included as a case study in the charity’s Diversity in Film and TV project, which will support production companies and funders to diversify their workforce.Flynn said FCW realised there was a problem and was “taking action to sort it out”.He said: “They would like us to go through their policies and practices, look at monitoring, and also support them to pass on the messages to the companies that they fund.”Evans said the incident was “just one of many that occurs more frequently than people think”, although he said the industry had improved in the last decade.He has been asked by FCW to talk to a group of producers about recruiting disabled actors but said he feared the move could be tokenistic.He said the industry needed to ensure that disabled characters are played by disabled actors, while such parts should not have to focus on their impairments.And he said Diverse Cymru was keen to expand a database of minority actors and performers that it uses when approached by production companies, while monitoring how often they are recruited.last_img read more

About 900000 disabled people will see their weekl

first_imgAbout 900,000 disabled people will see their weekly incomes fall by at least £50 a week by 2020, because of the continuing impact of the government’s welfare reforms, according to new research.The research by the consultancy Policy in Practice found that, of 7.2 million working-age, low-income households, more than two-fifths of those containing a working-age disabled person would lose at least £50 a week, compared with November 2016.The report, The Cumulative Impact Of Welfare Reform: A National Picture, says the impact of measures introduced after November 2016 will see the average low-income household containing a working-age disabled person lose £51.47 a week by 2020, compared with an average loss of £35.82 for households not containing a disabled person.This will come on top of an average weekly loss of more than £20 for low-income households containing a working-age disabled person as a result of welfare reforms introduced pre-November 2016 – such as the benefit cap, cuts to housing benefit and the bedroom tax – although this figure does not take account of rising living costs.More than a fifth of low-income households containing a working-age disabled person will lose between £20 and £50 a week by 2020, more than a quarter will lose less than £20 and just 8.6 per cent will be better off, according to the analysis.The research looks at the impact of the continued roll-out of universal credit, and other reforms such as reducing employment and support allowance payments to new claimants placed in the work-related activity group by nearly £30 a week, the continued freezing of most benefit rates, and cuts to housing benefit, as well as expected inflation and rent increases.The figures calculated in the report take account of the impact of mitigating measures introduced by the government, such as the introduction of the national living wage and increases to the personal tax allowance.The research is particularly significant because the founder of Policy in Practice, Deven Ghelani, helped develop universal credit when he was at Iain Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice.The report, prepared on behalf of the Local Government Association, warns that the losses to income affecting disabled people, as well as the impact on families with children, will further increase the pressure on “already stretched” local authority support services.It calls for the government to ensure there is adequate local support, funded by central government, and that this should be focused on households with disabled members and on families.And it warns that housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable for those in the private rented sector.A DWP spokeswoman said: “This report assumes that people won’t make any attempt to change and improve their lives.“But our welfare reforms incentivise work and, for the first time, universal credit helps working people progress and earn more, so they can eventually stop claiming benefits altogether.“Under universal credit, people are finding a job faster and staying in it longer than under the old system, and since the benefit cap was introduced, 34,000 households have moved off the cap and into work.”  No-one moving onto universal credit from existing benefits or tax credits will lose out in cash terms, although this does not apply if and when their circumstances change.last_img read more

After Sweeps Homeless Woman Faces Job Hunt

first_img Tags: homeless • housing Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% That left Fuchs on the streets and without a job. She called 311 in April, she said, and a month or two later, she got a spot at Next Door shelter on Polk street. She gives the shelter an 8 out of 10 compared to living in a tent – not as cold, she has a roof over her head, a bed and sheets. There’s a small library downstairs, she said, and some staff are helpful. “The staff are helpful if their clients didn’t put them in a bad mood,” said Fuchs. Unemployment is now her primary struggle and overcoming it means battling with the stigma of homelessness, the difficulty of looking one’s best when living in a shelter and just the sheer number of communication hurdles she faces without being constantly connected. “Just think of the paperwork and stuff you have to do with getting employment,” said Kelley Cutler, who works with the Coalition on Homelessness. “And you’re living in a communal setting.” Shelter hours, Cutler said, can be difficult with a job because clients unable to make the curfew and claim their beds must produce corroborating paperwork from the employer to get a late pass. Without a late pass, a client’s bed must be released for those needing a one-night stay.Those complications, however, are nothing compared to the difficulty of simply getting a job in the first place. Fuchs repeatedly states she does not use any hard drugs, but few employers are enthusiastic when they discover she is homeless. Then, there are the little things – she has a laptop, but the charger doesn’t work and the wi-fi will not respond (though the shelter does have it) so her job hunt has been done primarily by phone.Appearances also matter. Fuchs is as a sharp dresser even with severely limited options, pairing carefully selected ensembles of men’s clothing with earrings and mascara, hair pulled back in a precise ponytail. Still, getting ahold of hygiene products, from soap to tampons, is hit and miss, not to mention finding clothes suitable for a job interview. She is seeking donations both through the shelter and through PayPal.“I want a job so bad. Every time I follow up it’s either ‘We’re completely staffed’ or ‘we’ll give you a call’ or ‘I’m sorry for your troubles but we’ll call you later in the month’,” she said. “I feel like somebody should give me a fair chance. This is not what I want to do, chill out on the goddamn corner. I’m smart all-around people person, I adapt to any environment.”Kathy Treggiari, shelter director for Episcopal Community Services, which runs Next Door as well as the Navigation Center, acknowledged that if she were looking for a job herself while homeless, she wouldn’t admit to living at a shelter.“I think there is a lot of stigma out there,” she said. “If someone is employable there are ways to maneuver around [admitting to] staying in a shelter, and not letting a future employer know that you’re in shelter.”Without a steady job, Fuchs has turned to gig work – even landing a spot as an extra on the forthcoming ABC miniseries “When We Rise.” The work netted her $98 for a day of shooting.But Fuchs feels a steady place to live would help her find a permanent job.“I just need a place,” she said. “I feel a place is gonna push me to get better.”That’s the logic behind the “housing first” approach that advocates for the homeless promote. But it takes resources and housing to get the homeless off the street. At Next Door, more than 300 people could be in the building, with nine service coordinators, a facilities person, and a supervisor on duty. In the evening some case managers are available, and a 10-person behavioral health team moves around the shelters and may stop by. The exact ratio is hard to get at, Treggiari says, though with all of the shelters during all operating hours it works out to something like one staff member per nine clients. At the Navigation Center, it’s closer to one staff for every 2.7 clients.“One to nine doesn’t sound bad, but it is,” Treggiari said. “The smaller you get at a shelter the more welcoming you can be, the looser you can be, because it’s not crowd control, it’s not people 40 inches apart from one another. It’s easier to facilitate.”But Fuchs and Jones were not among those offered a coveted spot at the center, so Fuchs is trying to make it work at Next Door.Single or no, it’s not just herself Fuchs is trying to rebuild her life for. Her two children, 8 and 6 years old, are with Child Protective Services. Their violent alcoholic father being released from prison was the threat that drove her out of San Diego. He was also the one who pulled her out of college courses when she started nursing school. Fuchs wants her kids back, badly.“I want to make my children to be proud to come back to me. I want them on Career Day to say, ‘this is what my mommy does,” she said.This story previously misstated the name of the nonprofit that runs Next Door shelter and the Navigation center – it is Episcopal Community Services, not Episcopal Family Services. The story has been updated to reflect this.  Linda Fuchs, 36, and her then-partner, Chanell Jones, were featured in a February column in the San Francisco Examiner, which detailed the loss of Jones’ job due to her homelessness. They, like many other homeless people who were surviving under the 101 freeway overpass above Division Street, were swept out of downtown for the Super Bowl, and then moved around repeatedly after a big clearing of the Division Street encampment.The couple then settled briefly in front of the San Francisco SPCA on 16th Street, but Jones’ asthma worsened and landed her in the hospital.“I took care of her for two weeks, and barely left the hospital,” said Fuchs, who had herself recently suffered a bout of kidney stones.  “I called her family, because her condition scared me.”Jones’ family wanted her back in Chicago and offered them both a place to stay, but the couple ended their five-year relationship before the move.center_img 0%last_img read more

No matter the party in Dolores Park trans people talk about discrimination

first_imgLesbians, Violet said, are more educated and accepting of the spectrum of relationships and identities that can exist within the LGBTQ community.  Violet added that a lot of discrimination is also perpetrated by those who are new to San Francisco. She described the Mission District as an area in which she has felt unsafe because of harassment from newcomers from less accepting areas.“Those who are new to the [city] don’t know,” she said. She believes that once they have had more time in the city things will improve as they become more aware of Trans identity.  Daniel described gay discrimination against transgender couples or couples that fall outside man and man relationships as the “Gay robot” phenomenon.Erica and Daniel. Photo by Lola M. ChavezRecent arrivals are not the only ones to discriminate. Sometimes discrimination can be closer to home.Elle Swan and J Cambridge. Photo by Lola M. Chavez“There is discrimination within the black community,” said Elle Swan, a spiritual warrior and guide, who experienced hard to hear comments from members of her family.  Yuritza Hernandez, “La Reina” de El/La para translatinas. Photo by Lola M. ChavezIt is also difficult for Trans individuals to find a space for themselves within the Trans community itself. Many hunger for a more connected Trans community that can transcend ethnic and group differences. “As a Trans community, all of us should be united,” said Yuritza Hernandez. “All the groups should be united so that our community can exert greater pressure.”“We all need to support each other. The more risk we take, the more comfortable we make society,” said Swan. She emphasized that discomfort can often not be avoided and that it is important to be yourself even in uncomfortable times. That it is only that kind of commitment to loving yourself that will lead acceptance in wider society.Parker and Bobbi. Photo by Lola M. ChavezBobbi and Parker, a transgender woman of color and a transgender white man who recently got married, are a testament to the understanding power of love. Parker is aware that trans women of color are stepped over and has made the effort to give Bobbi her space. He lets her speak and express her perspective without taking up the space of spokesman to society; a space white trans men often hold, he said, because “people feel more comfortable speaking to a trans white man.”  It is the respect and space that Bobbi and Parker give each other that many in the trans community hunger for. In the meantime, as Hernandez said, “We still don’t live as we would wish to live.”    The colors and music of the Trans March celebration in Dolores Park on Friday where a large crowd partied through the day hardly masked a different reality. Discrimination continues, trans interviewed said, even among the LGBTQ community.  Although the Trans March, remains a chance for them to feel safe, it is not enough, they saidConstance, her colorful cape catching the ever-present wind of Dolores Park, said the Trans March is just one day in a year. “It’s like going to Disneyland,” she said. “It doesn’t make me feel more pride.”Trans individuals across San Francisco, they said,  still experience groping, catcalling and humiliation. Even the Castro, with all its flying multicolored flags is “hit or miss” said Violet, who has been called a drag queen while walking along its streets.Violet. Photo by Lola M. Chavez 0%center_img Tags: Pride Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more


HE may be a veteran of these occasions but James R

first_imgHE may be a veteran of these occasions but James Roby will be as proud as anyone when he walks out on to the Old Trafford surface this Saturday.Six times the influential hooker has played in a Grand Final and each time he has walked a dream all local players crave.“Both teams are well known for bringing through young lads,” he said. “I was lucky enough to get a chance at my hometown club. There are other players now getting their chance too; local lads from a working class area playing on the world stage for their town. It doesn’t get much better than that.”Roby has been at the pinnacle of everything Saints have done well this season and was rightly nominated for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel.But he now wants to finish the job.“It’s fantastic to be here, first and foremost, and it is a massive occasion,” he continued. “It is a great reward for the players. Winning the League Leaders’ Shield was a real confidence booster and now we are 80 minutes away from being Champions.“We’ve had a year filled with adversity but it’s been made sweeter by the fact we have recovered as a team and covered each other’s backs. The team spirit here is fantastic.“We finished top and then have gone on to eliminate the other teams. Now we have to take it one step further.“We all know our record at Old Trafford but now we are back and have done the hard work to be here. I have confidence in the ability of the team and if we play as we can then there is no reason why this year can’t be ours.“We don’t need any extra motivation; it is derby, there’s added spice and it brings out the best in the players. There will be a great atmosphere with thousands of fans from both clubs. Hopefully, I will remember this one for the right reasons.”Tickets for the Grand Final remain on sale. Click here for more information.last_img read more


STHELENS announce that Lance Hohaia has informed

first_imgST.HELENS announce that Lance Hohaia has informed us of his retirement from rugby league and will therefore not play for the Club again.Lance has been a valued and integral member of the squad for the last three-and-a-half years and we thank him for his service.We wish him and his family well in their life after rugby league with St Helens.St Helens will make no further comment on this matter.last_img


SAINTS kept the pressure on at the top of the tabl

first_imgSAINTS kept the pressure on at the top of the table with an adequate performance against a poor Leeds Rhinos outfit, writes Graham Henthorne.However, this was a Leeds side which contained many of the players who so efficiently wiped the floor with a very similar Saints side in the opening forty minutes of this season. This shows just shows how far the Saints have come that turning in a display in which for the most part they went through the motions allowed them to so comprehensively beat the visitors.Ben Morris opened the scoring taking Danny Richardson’s pass and running a a great line crashing through the Rhinos defence wide right.Quick hands again down the right side from Richardson to Jake Spedding finally ended up with Dave Eccleston stepping back inside to cross the whitewash.Had Aaron Smith’s line ball to Rob Fairclough been ruled legal then the game would have been beyond the visitors in the first quarter. As it was the Saints had to work hard for three full repeat sets before the visitors made the error which relieved the pressure.Straight away the Saints went down the other end where Fairclough showed his attacking flair with a delightful dummy which stood up the defence giving him a walk in to score.What wasn’t in question throughout this game was the Saints commitment to defence, shown perfectly after Richardson’s long clearing kick down field. The chase was on from Morris and Spedding and both were on hand to force a repeat set.The last five minutes belonged to Regan Grace. The winger, cheered on enthusiastically by a very vocal band of his countrymen and women, finally managed to do what he has threatened to do for weeks. He got through the defensive line on his own 30, rounded the full back then teased him on his way to the line.But with seconds to go to the break it was he who got under his opposite number to save a certain try.Losing Captain Joe Ryan at the break meant longer stints for the big guys down the middle but the work was shouldered without complaint from Levy Nzoungou and his counterpart off the bench Matty Lees.Richardson opened the second period with a 40/10 and from the scrum Calvin Wellington earned his own burst of “When the Saints Go Marching In” from his countrymen as he burst through paper thin tackling to score.Fairclough and Richardson were both unlucky not to score before Morgan Knowles got the try that his tireless work every week deserves.The final try was scored by Richardson but was made from Phil Atherton’s half break and offload.The game was played in extremely humid, muggy conditions which may account for the sluggish nature of the Saints play. There may also have been a hangover from last week’s disappointing loss to the Auld Enemy. And whilst it is always difficult to nil a side and just as difficult to beat and side from Leeds be under no illusions that this is anything other than a very young and inexperienced Rhinos side.Consequently the tempo will need to rise for the second visit of the season by a Hull KR which arguably should have won at Langtree earlier in the season.Match Summary:Saints U19s:Tries: Ben Morris (10), David Eccleston (16), Rob Fairclough (26), Regan Grace (35), Calvin Wellington (44), Morgan Knowles (54), Danny Richardson (70).Goals: Danny Richardson 6.Leeds U19s:Tries: Goals:Half Time: 22-0Full Time: 40-0Teams:Saints:20. Ricky Bailey; 2. David Eccleston, 3. Jake Spedding, 4. Calvin Wellington, 5. Regan Grace; 6. Danny Richardson, 7. Rob Fairclough; 8. Ross McCauley, 9. Josh Eaves, 10. Phil Atherton, 11. Olly Davies, 12. Ben Morris, 13. Morgan Knowles. Subs: 14. Aaron Smith, 15. Levy Nzoungou, 16. Matty Lees, 21. Joe Ryan.Leeds:1. Jack Wray; 2. Tommy Brierley, 3. Jack Norfolk, 4. Harry Boyes, 5. Ryan Jones; 6. Jordan Lilley, 7. Joe Sanderson; 8. Nyle Flynn, 9. Ben Brady, 10. Jonny Holmes, 11. Nathan Barker, 12. Ben Frankland, 13. Matty While. Subs: 14. Harvey Hallas, 15. Josh Jordan-Roberts, 16. Sam Hallas, 17. Trea O’Sullivan.last_img read more

Wilmington home invasion leaves one man injured

first_img Victims told police that two suspects forcibly entered the home, brandishing a gun and demanding money from a safe.The suspects fired at one of the victims, striking him in the hand. The bullet exited the victim’s hand and grazed his chin.The suspects are believed to be 19 or 20 years old, weighing about 120-130 pounds. Victims said they were wearing white t-shirts, blue jeans, and face masks.Related Article: Wilmington oral surgeon charged with sex crimes released from jailAnyone with information is asked to call the Wilmington Police Department or use Text-A-Tip. (Photo: MGN Online) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police are investigating an armed robbery that left one man injured over the weekend.According to WPD spokeswoman Jennifer Dandron, police responded to the 2100 block of Holly Drive shortly after 8:00 p.m. Sunday.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Murder suspect sues jail claims GenX in water makes him sick

first_imgDamian Maurice Gore (Photo: New Hanover Co. Sheriff’s Office) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An inmate accused of murder is trying to turn the tables on the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.Damian Gore has filed a federal lawsuit saying the jail violated his constitutional rights by making him drink water he says is contaminated with GenX.- Advertisement – US Marshals arrested Gore in the fall of 2016 in Georgia for the December 2015 murder of Rashaun Akeem McKoy.Yesterday Gore filed a complaint in federal court saying he has “headaches” and “gets nauseous” and blames it on the water at the jail. He says staff there have refused to provide him with a separate water sourceWe reached out to the sheriff’s office. A spokesman tells WWAY the water at the jail was never contaminated with GenX, because it comes from the Castle Hayne Aquifer and not from the Cape Fear River.last_img read more

Red Cross seeks local volunteers for Hurricane Florence response

first_img The Red Cross is looking for volunteers who can sign up for a 6-12 hour shift and help maintain/set up sheltering facilities, register clients, maintain client information, and serve meals, among other tasks. Licensed nurses and mental health professionals are encouraged to volunteer with Red Cross in the local community.Those who live in Eastern North Carolina and are interested in volunteering are urged to sign up at Following sign-up, a Red Cross team member will contact applicants directly. Due to the expected high-volume of applications, Red Cross asks for patience as the organization reaches out to volunteers. American Red Cross RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — As Hurricane Florence continues to track toward Eastern North Carolina, the Red Cross encourages residents to finalize safety preparations. The organization also seeks volunteers to help with disaster response post-landfall.“At this time, it’s crucial that families complete their preparedness kits, secure their homes, and listen to local officials for evacuation updates. Post-landfall, if you are safe and able to help the community, the Red Cross would greatly appreciate your volunteer support,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross of Eastern NC.- Advertisement – last_img read more