Actress, stand-up comedian and founder of the WoW petition yesterday talked to the Mirror about why it’s wrong to force disabled people with conditions that will not change to be repeatedly medically assessed for benefits.{jcomments on}

Like thousands of people in the UK, Francesca was awarded Disability Living Allowance for life when she was a child. But now under new changes, she will have to be reassessed. Over the next few months, an estimated 500,000 people will lose their DLA. During her birth, her brain had been starved of oxygen, and by the time she was two she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“So, I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and go ‘oh I’m not wobbly any more!’” Francesca says.

“But like thousands of other people like me, now I’m going to have to be reassessed every few years.

"That’s millions of pounds from the taxpayer for a private company to come and see me.

"Basically, we’re going to waste shed-loads of money.”

Francesca is used to confounding people’s ideas about disability, but never expected to have to use her profile as an actress to defend the rights of other people with disabilities.

“Disabled people have never been under such attack,” she says.

“The welfare cuts are hitting people everywhere they turn. We are being demonised, even though we didn’t cause the financial crisis.”

Francesca was so appalled by the changes that just before Christmas last year she posted the War on Welfare – or ‘WoW’ – e-petition on the Government’s website calling for a new deal for people with disabilities.

Francesca wants to see a new deal for people with disabilities, but also people of all abilities coming together to stand shoulder to shoulder against the cuts. "We’ve got to join together and see what’s really happening here.”

Sign Francesca’s petition here:


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