I am not sure if many people realised the Disability Discrimination Act, a key component to the rights disabled people now have in the UK was enacted in 1995 under a Conservative government. And the civil aim of the act was to give disabled people the right to spend money and be consumers without facing less favourable treatment. As well as not be discriminated in the workplace. It was revolutionary in its time.
And for me the DDA made sense as discrimination is about being treated less favourably than most people could expect. It is a clear and simple concept which is about inclusion and equality as civil rights.
I worry the new unclear focus on human rights is concerning since people have taken some very basic rights we all without doubt have in the UK and twisted them to argue the most petty points. It has been used by disability charities to create a ‘rights without responsibilities’ culture where disabled people feel they have the right to have things beyond their economic, academic and other ability.
We need to remind ourselves of the success of civil rights and actually use them, rather then dismiss them in this “me first” culture.
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