29/04/2010 - Solidarity opposes discrimination against the disabled

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TWO MONTHS ago, Solidarity National Executive member Simone Clarke spoke out in support of disabled workers.  She said:


“As a trade unionist, I find it hard to believe that disabled people are still being discriminated against. It’s disgraceful and unethical. It goes against the grain. We should be helping the most needy and vulnerable – not hindering them.”

At the time she was responding to a report from the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability which found that disabled people faced greater discrimination at work with employers more likely to make them redundant during the economic crisis than non-disabled workers.

Disability and the Downturn also found very high levels of poverty among disabled people with dependent children.


She has now returned to the subject in the wake of a new report from the charity.


Rights and Reality is based on research conducted by Ipsos MORI.  It notes that around 40% of disabled people have experienced difficulties accessing goods and services in the last twelve months.  Of this figure, around 25% directly identified their experiences as discriminatory.

Many of these difficulties include using public transport, a lack of user-friendly facilities and not enough information being made available for disabled people.

A spokesman for Leonard Cheshire Disability noted:


"We found a remarkable level of discrimination and inaccessibility in shops and services, particularly given the Disability and Discrimination Act first came into force 15 years ago."


Solidarity’s Ms Clarke also commented on this general theme:


Disability and the Downturn made for depressing reading.  But Rights and Reality is even worse. 


Here we are in 2010 and disabled people are still being discriminated against.  It’s hard to believe really.”


She went on to say that she fully supported Leonard Cheshire Disability’s view that “The impact of goods and services being inaccessible can mean much more than immediate inconvenience – it can contribute directly to the chances of a disabled person living in poverty through barriers to employment, education and other opportunities.”


View the Rights and Reality report.




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