Time to get equal
…legislation and regulations are not sufficient or the end of the long walk to equality and non-discrimination [for disabled people]…' Nelson Mandela
Uninformed and negative attitudes towards disability lead to social exclusion and poverty for many disabled children. In the UK, and in most countries around the world, these attitudes mean that disabled children are less likely to get formal education, they are less likely to get a job, and less likely to have independence and power over their own lives.
In 1995, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in the UK started the long walk to legally end discrimination against disabled people. Successful campaigning sees Part 3 of the DDA now being implemented. This means that public places like swimming pools, cinemas and restaurants must be equally accessible for disabled people as non-disabled - something that non-disabled people often take for granted. But, not everyone is changing their attitudes towards disability. The non-disabled need to be made aware of the strengths and abilities that disabled people have, and disabled people given the opportunity to lead an equal life, a life without discrimination and abuse.
SCOPE's Time To Get Equal campaign challenges negative attitudes towards disability in the UK. It is fighting against inequality in access to services (like housing), education, and any inequality which means that people with a disability cannot have the same opportunities to enjoy things as those who are not disabled. The aim of the campaign is to build a mass movement of disabled and non-disabled people to create an equal Britain. Find out more, join the campaign and sign the pledge here!
Take a look at the other campaigns that SCOPE organises here!
Disabled children are learning to be leaders and role models to fight against exclusion and discrimination in the UK, through Save the Children’s Activ8 community projects. They want to be heard and to be valued as responsible citizens. Two deaf children have been successful in developing the role modelling of deaf young adults in mainstream schools with hearing and deaf children in primary and secondary schools. An Asian hard-of-hearing trainee has set up a youth club with a skills development element which has encouraged deaf young women, as well as men, to attend. They have produced a video for use with deaf Asian young people, which you can find by clicking here.
Other examples of work in the UK with young disabled people include:
Young disabled people involved in the Hammersmith and Fulham Action for Disability, (an area in South West London, the UK, through the NSF - Neighbourhood Support Fund and the The National Youth Agency have been empowered through social and educational opportunities, including arts activities. Their successes include: having their video screened at the National Disability Arts Festival; and producing a short animation about bullying, which gave them the opportunity to discuss their experiences of and issues around the subject through fictitious characters.