Category: DISABILITY

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GOVERNMENT AIMS HIGH WITH DIVERSITY TARGETS

Harriet Harman tells public sector employers to stop ‘fishing in same pool’ and increase representation of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people on the payroll… Targets set to obtain more diversity in public appointments are now more ambitious than those for senior public sector managers. Last week the Government Equalities Office and the Cabinet Office announced an action plan to increase the representation of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people on more than 1,200 public bodies, arguing that their presence is necessary, not simply in the services of a fairer society, but to society in general is better served by public...

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KEEPING CITIZENSHIP JUST OUT OF REACH

Female, non-white or disabled? Then you can forget becoming a British citizen – a new bill gives you little chance… If you’re a migrant and you happen also to be either female, not white or disabled, then the government’s message in its new citizenship bill is simply; you need not apply. Due for a second reading in the House of Commons today, the borders, citizenship and immigration bill sets out just who the UK will in future regard as British citizens enjoying full rights of membership, including the right of abode, unrestricted access to the labour market/welfare state and the...

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THREE CHEERS FOR NEW EQUALITY BILL

Three cheers for a Bill of rights for the old, gay, disabled, female and taken-for-granted… We have seen times and the law change attitudes. The new Equality Bill is the next step Some people just don’t get it, do they? They fulminate against a new and elaborate government Bill, almost as a knee-jerk reaction. They rage against proposals that, in the calm light of day, taken one by one, they would endorse. They use short-sighted criticism as a means to offload all the bile swilling around the other issues of government – fiscal and monetary, business and investment. Yes, there...

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FACING DISABILITY ON TV

It is parents who can’t face disability on TV Complaints that the children’s presenter Cerrie Burnell is ‘scaring children’ reveal an alarming prejudice towards disability … from adults Nine official complaints have so far been lodged with the BBC – plus many more blog postings – about 29-year-old children’s television presenter Cerrie Burnell, who was born with only one hand. Parents have complained that they cannot let their children watch her because the sight will “possibly cause sleep problems”, that she is scaring toddlers, and that they are being forced to discuss the issue of disability with their offspring before...

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FAILING DISABLED PEOPLE

It’s shameful that the British government still hasn’t ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Parliament’s joint committee on human rights has castigated the government over its “extremely disappointing” failure to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century. This international instrument opened for signature in March 2007, and while Britain signed up promptly we have not subsequently joined the 44 states that have gone on to ratify the convention, which includes Australia, Brazil, Hungary, South Africa, Spain and Uganda. Nearly 5,000 people have signed the...

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200TH BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY OF BRAILLE INVENTOR

Blind people the world over are celebrating the 200th birthday, January 4th, of blind communication pioneer Louis Braille. The Frenchman gave his name to the revolutionary code of six dots that help the blind read, write and do everyday things that sighted people take for granted. Over the centuries Braille has had an enormous effect on the lives of millions of people across 120 countries worldwide. It is not a language but a code by which all languages may be written and read. The ability to read and write in Braille opens the door to literacy, intellectual freedom, equal opportunity,...

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

December 3 is International Day for Persons with Disabilities… 2008 Theme: “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Dignity and justice for all of us” Dignity and justice for all of us is the theme of this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities, as well as for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Dignity and justice for all persons are established universal principles.  Since its inception, the United Nations has recognized that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family are the foundations of freedom, justice...