As advocates for disabled people and having provided support, guidance and advice to disabled people looking for work and for employers who want to consider employing disabled people we are fully aware of the realities of disabled people in the workplace and find that Mr Davies’ comments are not only wrong (on so many levels) but utterly and completely evil.
He has shown us a clear and unequivocal example of ‘institutional discrimination’ as anyone could wish for. Not only is he uninformed, he is insulting beyond belief – he should not apologise, he should resign and head for the darkest corner he can find and thank God that he doesn’t have to himself endure the kind of life many disabled people face every day of their lives – a prison sentence that has no parole and where the light at the end of the tunnel is death.
A wrong but honest reply in The Mail only goes to show how ill informed employers are; the long term disabled are far more reliable because they actually know what their barriers are and have spent a lot of time adjusting and managing them the result of which is greater reliability rather than less. We could give an endless list of examples such as how PP, a blind person has replaced two ‘able’ bodied people on a switchboard and retains phone numbers, doesn’t need a directory, has perfect voice recognition and so makes his employer seem able to offer a personalised service to all his customers.
Many disabled people have been failed by institutional discrimination from education onwards but it only takes finding (or making) the right opportunity for them to be able to shine – often brighter than their ‘able’ counterparts.
There are suggestions of a “trial run” for disabled people which seems, on the face of it, sensible but consider how discriminatory it really is; are ‘able’ people required to work without pay to prove themselves, of course not – there is a probationary period during which people prove they can do the job.
Institutional discrimination is rife in this country and even those who feel they ‘understand’ the needs of the disabled often do not – the problem we face now is that the previous and current governments have set up to demonise the disabled of this country and present them as scrounging, whining lazy and complacent layabouts which cannot be further from the truth.
Government spin prevails and the most vulnerable suffer as a result; when has it every been acceptable to prey on those who face barriers in every day life that would exhaust most ‘able’ people after a week of effort?