Sunday, 4 January 2009

Disabled rights delay criticised

The government has been criticised for failing to ratify new rights for disabled people into British law.
Ministers failed to ratify a UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities by the set deadline of the end of 2008.
A committee of both Houses of Parliament said this was "extremely disappointing" and risked "alienating" disabled people.
We are particularly disappointed at the trouble we and disability organisations have had getting information about the large number of legal exceptions the government wishes to make to this convention
Andrew Dismore MP

When you are wheel-chair bound, restricted to public transport, life can and is often miserable.
The public perception of every disabled person having a rip-off disability car is far from accurate. The worst times are in the pouring rain when the bus stops are filled with young parents with prams, it is nearly always the disabled adult who gets left in the wet even though there are laws in place to give them priority. After all, it is not difficult to fold a child's carriage away and hold a child in your arms. My 18 stone oppo, one of the best and bravest gunners ever to serve, is another matter. Invariably people talk over his head even though it is only his legs that are useless, not his brain, but that is debatable. Often it is the elderly who have no idea of what a disabled person has to tolerate. Recently an elderly woman demanded my friend’s seat and was seemingly unabashed when oppo started to un-harness himself and climb out of the coffin.
It is equally bad for the 'fit' disabled, the person with heart disease or cancer, who looks reasonably fit. We've all seen instances where even public servants scoff at them with their disability bus pass. They get short shrift from some of us who are victims as well as carers.
My Labour MP thinks I am too truculent and regard him with disdain. I have news for Gay Gordon, you don't even measure that high, even if you were within 200 yards of a bomb in London.