Monday, October 4, 2010

Can a Disabled Brotha Get a Table Dance?

I'm on the distribution for Disability Scoop e-news, and this headline caught my eye:

In Britain, Taxpayer Funded Lap Dances For People With Disabilities


I read the synopsis and thought "Oh here we go".  Because it just sounded to me like the government had made a change whereby the disabled receive funds directly rather than having services supplied via the government or their authorized agencies.  So, yes, in theory this could happen but does it really?

So I searched for the original article in the London Telegraph, and it turns out it could.  And does.  Oh my.  Here are some excerpts from the article with my commentary in pink:

The £520 million scheme promised to give elderly people and those with disabilities more control over the care they received, by passing on cash so individuals could choose the services they needed.  An investigation by The Sunday Telegraph can disclose that exotic holidays, internet dating subscriptions and adventure breaks, as well as visits to sex workers and lap dancing clubs have been permitted under the system. 
 
This is the actual photo that accompanies the article.
Even I'd look better than that in a bikini,
but I'm strangely not comforted by this.
One local authority has agreed a care plan including payment for a 21-year-old with learning disabilities to have sex with a prostitute in Amsterdam next month.  (Yeah, I used to live there.  This explains all of the Brits left naked and tied to street lamps in the Red Light District.)  His social worker said social services were there to identify and meet the needs of their clients – which, in the case of an angry and frustrated young man (what???  I'd assumed that we were talking about disabled women all this time!  I'm shocked, shocked I tells ya!), meant paying for sex. Another care worker said staff at her council had been told that trips to lap dancing clubs could be funded, if it could be argued that it would help the "mental and physical well being" of their client.  (Man, guys have been getting away with this logic since the Stone Age.  "C'mon baby, help a brother out.  I can't focus on inventing tools unless you start with this obsidian arrowhead, if you know what I mean.  Don't make me use these new opposable thumbs on myself baby.")

In the course of 12 months, one man with mental health problems from Norwich received a holiday in Tunisia, a subscription to an internet dating site, driving lessons, and expensive art materials. (I used to date a guy who was from Norwich, and I actually visited there.  I think that I was the first American to pass through their airport because when the customs guy asked me what I was doing there I thought that he was asking the official "What is the nature of your trip:  business or pleasure?" but he was like "No, I meant what are you doing here?"  Hmmmm...Simon?  Is that you?  If so, I would not have been above accompanying him on holiday to Tunisia on the government's dime.  Hey, I would have been saving them on hookers.) 

Zoe Grace Cozens, who wrote the council's policy on learning disability and sexuality, said the authority also had a duty of care to ensure that those with learning disabilities were not being exploited financially, if they paid for prostitutes from their own money.  "That could mean care workers phoning to check what rate sex workers were charging," she added.  (Every government worker in England was just handed the perfect excuse if they ever get caught soliciting prostitutes.  "I'm just doing my job, checking on rates for my poor disabled clients.  In fact, I think I just saved us a bunch of money by negotiating a volume discount, and this is the thanks I get!")

Belinda Schwer, a legal consultant who advises councils, said many local authorities agreed support plans for clients which did not specify how funds would be used, once they passed out of their hands.  In the case of someone given funds to go to a sex worker, such documents might set out an intended emotional outcome, rather than the means by which it was achieved, she suggested. "If you have got a happy and calm person who was previously frustrated and angry, that might achieve a good outcome, but the case law says councils should be setting out which services are being used," she said.  (This sounds very much like IEP language where all of the recommended hours and services have to be justified as supporting a specific goal.  So let me see if I have this straight:  Frustrated, Angry Person + Sex with a Prostitute = Happy, Calm Person.  Yeah, I get that.  Just substitute "ABA therapy" for "Sex with prostitute" and that pretty much summarizes every IEP meeting I've ever had.)

Matthew Elliot, chief executive of The Taxpayers’ Alliance said it was “deeply worrying” that public money had been spent on the services of prostitutes, lapdancing clubs and to pay for holidays.  He said: “Many taxpayers will be appalled and offended that money intended for social care has been used in this way."  (Good God, they are such prudes over there.  This would never be an issue in the U.S.)

Coming Soon:  How I think Audrey would spend an adult stipend. Spoiler alert!  Not on sex workers.

16 comments:

  1. Just wondering if the client needed assistance in getting to the place where the services were to be provided do you think the government would provide a stipend to, say the father, to accompany the client and make sure the services are suitable for his son? Not that I would even know where to find such places in my hometown or the town 4.6 miles to the southeast of my home. Just curious and keeping my eyes open for new therapies for my son.

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  2. They do indeed do things differently over there.

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  3. Oh lord, what is this world coming to? You're so right though about ABA therapy - it seems like everything is justified as long as the end result is achieved.

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  4. your post titles are the absolute greatest.

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  5. BB's social worker suggested we use the payments to fund canoeing. I thought it was a weird suggestion, but maybe it was a polite euphemism?

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  6. This is going to be used by the people who want health care unchanged for defending their cause. There is no perfect system, is there? Oh well, at least they don't have to skip doctor's visits because they can't pay for them...

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  7. Um, obsidian arrowhead anyone? Can I get a "what what"?

    That's awesome.

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  8. I need help. I'm tryin to figure out if that's a tatoo on her belly (photo above)of a lion? where her navel is the mouth...? Uuugh! I can't look away!

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  9. So if they adopt this policy in the US, then Owen could get an ASL interpreter with his hooker? Awesome!!

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  10. @Bigdaddy: I might have known that you'd be the first responder to this post. It is truly heroic of you to raise your hand to accompany your son.

    @Amanda and Cheryl: Sort of gives a different perspective when we can't even get ABA covered.

    @bbsmum: Here's how the Urban Dictionary defines canoe:
    1. to copulate, to engage in sexual intercourse. 2. related to the expression, "to tip a lot of canoes," I think.
    I can't wait to canoe the shit out of that hairy skank.

    Lest you think that I made that pervy shit up:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=canoe

    @Kate: Hard to transition from the last response, but I agree with you. This is the sensationalistic stuff that gets highlighted in the health care debate. Then once it gets out there, everyone wants to throw the blowjobs out with the bathwater.

    @Aimee: I thought it was just really bad skin elasticity but maybe...now I can't look away either.

    @Tulpen: You're assuming that there aren't hookers out there who know ASL....?

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  11. And I thought we were bad here in Ireland! Feck sake... this is madness! People with disabilities/mental health issues get lap dances etc and then the UK Government has this week cut Child benefit to "rich" families from 2013?? BTW rich means anyone earning over stg44,000. If both parents individually earn under that amount (say 40,000 each...ie 80,000 income to the household)then they don't get cut.

    How many lap dances and sex with prostitute payments would help pay for children's needs.... or ABA for Autistic children as you so rightly point out???

    xx Jazzy

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  12. Aaaargh! Really? Just wait till I get hold of BB's social worker...!

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  13. @jazzgal: I just heard about those cuts after I wrote this post. Definitely puts it in a different light knowing that.

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  14. I have read a few blogs from ppl in europe w/an autistic child and there are real serious implications to this and how they are dealing with it.

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