Yesterday I published a post with extracts from my book that is coming out in December. Today I realised I had put very little information about my book on this blog, and I should probably let my readers know what my book is about.
It’s called “Why We’re Not Benefit Scroungers,” and has the subtitle “Living with disability and chronic illness in modern Britain.”
The first of its two parts is about the current welfare system and the changes the government is making. This part is fact-based, relying on data and publications from bodies such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Department for Work and Pensions. One chapter deals with Employment and Support Allowance and the facts surrounding its unpopular assessment process. Another looks at Disability Living Allowance, how assessment for this currently works and what is happening with the changes to Personal Independence Payments. Other chapters discuss common media misrepresentations – and sometimes government misrepresentations – and some of the costs associated with disability and chronic illness.
The second part features stories about people with different disabilities and illnesses. These are written as memoirs, giving the experiences of these people as they recall them. For some, ill-health and disability has interrupted or hindered education. For others, illness came later in life and has forced a withdrawal from work. Some disabilities or illnesses can be worked around with understanding from the employer; others require the purchase of aids and adaptations.
All these stories show the obstacles that face the chronically sick and disabled in this country. From inaccessible public transport to incomprehensible instructions, this society is not prepared for the needs of some of its most needy people. These stories show some of the realities of living with disability or chronic illness in this country today.
I will be publishing some extracts from the book on my blog over the next week so that you can get more of an idea of what it is about. I haven’t got a planned publication date yet, partly because I’ve lacked the health to get on with it, but I intend to have it out at the beginning of December. If I can sort out how to work my website, I will be making the book available to pre-order. Keep watching or follow me on Twitter (@AidaAleksia) to find out more.