Monday 3 December 2018

International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2018

Today is International Day for People with Disabilities (#IDPD2018).

[Image description: the writer in wheelchair sporting WoWPetition paraphernalia]

Here in the UK, matters are deteriorating for disabled folk. Despite treaty obligations, the UK has reduced support for individuals with disabilities. For example, Legal Aid to take action to enforce one’s rights when one has been discriminated against, has been so severely restricted, that is now almost impossible to access one’s rights. Social Security benefits have been reduced or even taken away from individuals. This has then resulted in people having their Motability vehicles, their mobility-scooters and even electric wheelchairs taken from them. Multiple reports, including several by UN agencies, have castigated the UK Government, but they pay no heed. Instead the Conservative Executive continue with dogmatic policies with no evidence base and ignoring the great harms they have caused and still do. The Tories even ignore the evidence that some of their policy changes cost more than the policies they replaced. The UK Parliament also issues reports evidencing the damage done, but has proved impotent when it comes to taking any actions to counter the heinous actions of the Government and its agency the notorious Department for Work and Pensions (aka DWP - which is found to be constantly in breach of the Law but it considers itself above the Law) nor rein them in. The UN itself has also shown it is powerless to enact change for the better in the United Kingdom.

Between 1:5 and 1:6 UK citizens have a disability. WE deserve to be able to work, shop, travel, have relationships, enjoy entertainment, participate in sport, gain an education, just like the majority of Brits. We very often cannot.

Even when we have the ability and the relevant qualifications, we struggle to access the world of work due to the built environment and prejudice, having a much lower employment-rate than non-disabled folk.

The Government has come up with Purple Tuesday, one day a year when disabled people will be treated fairly and assisted at the shops. Imagine if you were limited to a single day per year when you might access all shops!

Around half of all train-stations are inaccessible to many disabled, and for that matter elderly folk, because they are not step-free.

Social services, G.P.s, carer agencies and even charities fail to support people with disabilities who want to explore relationships. As far as I am aware there is not a single English social services department that enquires after a disabled person’s sexual needs. Nor are there any who offer support in pursuing a relationship.

Many places of entertainment are inaccessible to all kinds of disabled folk. Wheelchair-users are frequently barred from entering night-clubs, bars, restaurants, pubs, cinemas and theatres. But they are not the only kind of disabled to be so treated. Folk with learning disabilities are also frequently refused permission to enter such establishments.

Many swimming-pools are inaccessible to folk who become less disabled once they can actually enter the water. Many Premier League stadia do not provide the mandatory number of places for disabled folk.

Statistics consistently and continuously show that folk with disabilities do not achieve as well as their non-disabled peers, due to lack of opportunities, discrimination by schools, failure by local education authorities to provide adequate home-teaching, and so on.

Only UK voters can ensure the position ameliorates. Alas, too many refuse to vote (abstain) or choose to vote wilfully blindly, without considering the consequences to people with disabilities let alone the effects of their vote on the rest of British society.

Please, when next you vote, consider the ramifications on others of that x!

#DisabilityRights #DisabilityDiscrimination #DisabilityHate #DisabilityDeath

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  1. I completely agree with the points made in the post. Voting rights were very difficult to win for a large portion of the population please use your vote and use it wisely. Try and have empathy and understanding of others walk in someone else's shoes for a day as the saying goes.

    1. Thank you for your comment, “Unknown”, it is appreciated.

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