December is an important month for disabled people. The 3rd of December is the International Day of disabled people and December is the UK’s disability history month, when we celebrate the great achievements made by disabled people in all spheres of life.
This year disabled people had another reason to celebrate as it marks the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995. An act which came into being after many years of campaigning by disabled people for civil rights. Disabled people had to get out on the streets chaining themselves to buses and trains to demonstrate the everyday barriers they experience, and how much they are excluded from main-stream society.
A lot of progress has been achieved since the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (now part of the Equality Act 2010), as discrimination against disabled people in employment and service delivery has been outlawed. However, many barriers still exist in society including the misconceptions, negative stereotypes and prejudice many people still have about disabled people.
In JRF/JRHT we have ongoing initiatives to raise awareness about disability issues.
Keeping with this year’s United Nations theme of raising awareness about invisible disabilities, we ran two workshops on chronic pain and fatigue and neurodiversity. These workshops were delivered by members of our staff who told very powerful stories of how chronic pain, dyslexia and autism affects their daily lives and what colleagues can do to be more understanding and supportive. Everybody who attended felt these sessions gave them a better understanding and they pledged to do more to be supportive of colleagues and residents affected by invisible disabilities.
Video: ‘Disability Discrimination Act: The disabled activists who brought London to a halt’
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-54862889 (video credit: produced by Ruth Clegg, edited by David Cheeseman [03:35], Archive courtesy of Desperate Dan Rave Productions)