MPs should work for less than minimum wage – oh no, it’s the disabled who are a drain on this country isn’t it?

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?

 

DWP waste £4.6billion in private sector spending

The scale of the DWP’s infiltration by the private sector is revealed in a list of the top 100 suppliers to the department in 2009–10 who, between them, walked away with almost £4.6 billion of public funds.

At the top of the list is a company few will ever have heard of, property management company Telereal Trillium who received a staggering £783 million of tax-payer cash.

Next in line was American computer giants Hewlett Packard, who took almost £657 million out of the department.

Further down the list at number six, job brokers A4E walked away with over £150 million of public money, even though the Public Accounts Committee reported last month that A4E had:

“achieved on average less than half what they promised in the contracts they signed with the Department. Against an average target of 36% of participants into work, A4E has to date found work for 15% of mandatory participants.”

Is it any wonder that the owners of these companies suddenly end up in multi-million pound mansions which the disabled and vulnerable are taking their lives in desperation and despair?

Equally dismaying for many claimants will be the discovery that Atos Origin also pocketed over £150 million from the public purse In Atos’ case the cash is for carrying out medicals whose findings are overturned in over 50% of appeals relating to incapacity benefit and over 40% of appeals relating to employment
and support allowance.

Sadly, ministers planning to slash public spending are unlikely to be looking here for savings when it is so much easier to simply take cash from sick and disabled claimants instead.

Institutional discrimination – what is it?

What is ‘institutional discrimination’?

There are many forms of discrimination, be it against race, disability, colour, creed, sect, gender or sexual orientation.  Perhaps the worst type of discrimination that has been allowed to creep into every aspect of an organisation.

The government would have us believe that they are the goody-two-shoes of discrimination and that they provide the yardstick by which the rest of us will be judged in how we deal with our neighbours and fellow human beings.  Yet, it is the government that is guilty of this worst kind of discrimination – it permeates everything they think, feel or do and they don’t realise they are doing it.

The DWP’s job centres are supposed to be open equally to all, giving everyone the same opportunity to access work to improve their lives; why then when it comes to clearing snow from the entrance to the Bromley job centre do they feel it is appropriate to only clear the steps and leave the wheelchair ramp completely buried?

Iain Duncan Smith tells the unemployed that they should “get on the bus” to find work and that’s all well and good, but they should practice what they preach and not display their absolute and complete discrimination at every opportunity.

Jobcentreplus around the country like to encourage local employers to give everyone a fair chance by signing up to the “Positive About Disabled” people initiative and like all government policies, they like to dictate to everyone else but fail miserably when it comes to doing the right thing themselves.

Employers are required by the DWP to have in place the right ethos to give disabled people an equal chance in the workplace but the scheme is lackadaisical and meaningless in real terms as there are no checks so discrimination is not tackled but rather swept under the rug.

Make no mistake, institutional discrimination is rife throughout the country and the worst culprits are those supposedly setting the standards.