study charts state of play on disability equality
research by Anne McGuire, Minister for Disabled People, provides a
unique snapshot of the lives of nearly 2000 disabled people in Great
Britain. Published in the run-up to the release of a Green
Paper on Welfare Reform, the report showed that 9 out of 10 working
disabled people believe their job has a positive impact on their
life, keeping them active and giving them financial independence. It
also confirmed that the number of disabled people in paid employment
has increased. However, just over 25% felt more could have been done
to help them stay in work.
Experiences and Expectations of Disabled People reports their views
on a range of the issues, including employment, education,
transport, health and discrimination. Commissioned by the Office for
Disability Issues, the study actively involved disabled people
throughout the research process. Other key findings were:
* A large majority of
disabled people reported being generally satisfied with their health
care and the level of control in their lives. Most also felt that
their home was suitable for their needs
* The majority of disabled people are socially active. 92% disabled
people had recently taken part in at least 1 social activity in the
previous month before the study was conducted
* The results match other trends showing that the number of disabled
people in paid employment has increased. National statistics show
that the employment rate of disabled people has increased by 5% over
this period, from 43% in 2001 to 48% in the latest available data
* Disabled people in work expressed positive views about how work
contributed to their lives. The vast majority felt that work helps
to keep them active (96%), provides financial independence (95%),
enables them to meet other people (92%) and makes them feel that
they are contributing to society (90%)
* In many respects, disabled people are more likely than
non-disabled people to experience disadvantage. Compared with the
population as a whole, disabled people tend to live in households
with lower incomes, are less likely to be in paid work and less
likely to hold academic qualifications.
* A minority of disabled people felt they lack the skills to find
work. 1 in 10 working-age respondents not in work felt that they did
not have the skills to get a job. This was highest amongst younger
people - 17% of 16-34 year olds not in work
Minister for Disabled People Anne McGuire said:- "This report
provides a comprehensive insight into the lives of disabled people
and provides the type of information we need to ensure that we
target our policies and approaches to help meet the Government's
vision of equality for disabled people by 2025. Some of the
criticisms are really challenging but we need to know more about the
areas where we are managing to narrow the disability equality gap
and look at where we still have more work to do.
One of the main messages from the report is around work. As the
research shows, disabled people of working age can and want to work,
but still face barriers in accessing and staying in jobs. We are
determined to make sure we provide the support that disabled people
need to make the most of the opportunities that are out there.
We will shortly be bringing together a green paper on welfare reform
that will set out the next steps in making these goals a reality,
giving disabled people the opportunity to take their place in the
Transport Minister, Rosie Winterton said:- "Today's research
emphasises again the importance of remaining independent for those
with a disability, and the key role that public transport can have
in this - especially when providing access to work. It is not
right that travel should be a barrier to employment. The Government
will continue to consult with disabled people and local authorities
on measures that are important to them, such as low-floor buses,
accessible taxis, accessible stations, Blue Badges and the
concessionary bus pass, so that we have a transport system people
feel confident using and that reflects the population it serves"
UCLan graduate overcomes the odds to get a degree in care
Mary Ford has defied the odds and has graduated with a 2:1 degree in
Care, Community and Citizenship this week from the University of
Central Lancashire (UCLan), having received ongoing support from its
Disability Support Unit for her cerebral palsy throughout her
Mary, 45, has recently completed a 4 year course at UCLan,
comprising a foundation course and BA (Hons) degree in Care,
Community and Citizenship, whilst also working part time as a
Mary has achieved an Upper 2nd degree and worked to a high standard
throughout her course, which has enabled her to take advantage of
every learning opportunity on offer – including a visit to the House
of Commons and study tour of Poland – despite her mobility problems.
Mary has already secured a place on the highly prestigious
Disability Studies MA course at Leeds University and hopes to go on
to work in disability advocacy.
She comments:- “I chose to study at UCLan because of the wide
range of opportunities and facilities for physically disabled
people. The staff here have been incredibly supportive and have
helped me to gain confidence in my studies and in myself. I’m
excited to be graduating this week and am looking forward to what
the future will bring.”
your job? No thanks.
government workers in the North West have slammed the region’s MPs
for failing to accept a challenge to join them in the front line.
Only 2 - Eccles MP Ian Stewart and Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim
Farron – agreed to roll up their sleeves to work alongside a UNISON
member. The rest have either failed to respond or turned down
an invitation from the union to swap their desks in Westminster for
a job with a local authority.
The union’s North West Regional Secretary Frank Hont invited all 76
North West MPs to join members at work to understand why they were
protesting over pay.
Mr Hont said:-
“Politicians and employers have had a lot to say about why they
think local government workers shouldn’t be given more than a 2.45%
rise, but they are clearly not so keen to do the job themselves.
Working in local government is often difficult, dirty and dangerous. Council workers are frequently assaulted and often violently
attacked in their day-to-day roles.
National press reports in the run-up to this week’s 2 day strike
revealed more than 20,000 sets of Home Office-approved body armour
had been issued to local government staff, including councils.
Concerns for their health and safety, as well as worries over their
pay and terms and conditions, are among the key reasons local
government workers join a trade union. It is disappointing
most local MPs were not willing to join them in the workplace.”
Arrangements are now being made for MPs Ian Stewart and Tim Farron
to work with UNISON members.
Letters To Editor=:- "Looking for old army pal."
hoping that one of your readers might be able to help me find an old
army pal. His name is D.W. (Barry) Snape, he served with me in the
R.E.M.E. 1955-1958. He lived in the Southport area before
joining the army and his father was in business in the Manchester
Any info would be much appreciated, my ring me on 07729422668. Thanking you in advance."
Len Ingham... from Wigan, UK...