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Have your say on the Equality Act

robert_gillrobert_gill Posts: 4Member Listener
Hello. 

MPs from the Women and Equalities Select Committee are carrying out an inquiry into the enforcement of the Equality Act. You can find out more about the inquiry on the Committee’s page within the parliament website.

At Scope, we are preparing a response to the inquiry about disabled people’s experiences of using their rights under the Equality Act.

The Equality Act is a law designed to tackle disadvantage in the UK. It was introduced in 2010 and builds on the Disability Discrimination Act.

There are many different ways the Equality Act aims to tackle disadvantages disabled people face. For example:

-       Where they can, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to interview processes for disabled applicants, for example, by allowing a candidate with dyslexia more time to complete a test.

-       Where they can, businesses are expected to change products or services so that they are accessible for disabled customers. For example, by installing induction loops within a bank branch or providing accessible vehicles within a taxi service.

-       The Equality Act protects people from discrimination or harassment related to disability at work

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an independent organisation which is responsible for enforcing the Equality Act. You can find out more about the Act and how it affects you on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

Share your views and experiences

We would like to hear from people who have thought about exercising their rights as a disabled person under the Equality Act.  

-       Would you feel able to use your rights under the Act?

o   If yes, what information and support would help you with this?

o   If no, could you tell us about what is putting you off?

-       If you have used your rights under the Act,

o   What worked well?

o   If you have come across any challenges, what were they? 

 

-       How should information about disabled people’s rights under the Act be communicated?

If you have any thoughts or experiences you would like to share with me then please send them to Robert Gill at [email protected] by no later than Sunday 23 September.

You could also respond to the inquiry directly by preparing a document on Microsoft Word and sending it to the committee on the submission form within their website.

The findings from this inquiry will be written up into a report that Government will respond to, so any evidence we can gather about the effectiveness of the Equality Act could help change Government policy.

Any comments we receive will only be used in our response to this consultation unless you give us permission to use them again. If you wish to provide us with feedback but don’t want your comments to be made public, then we are happy to keep them anonymous.

Many thanks.

Robert. 

Replies

  • newbornnewborn Posts: 205Member Pioneering
    The only thing stopping most of us from exercising our rights is that we don't  all have a vast team of top lawyers with unlimited funds, to accompany  us throughout the day, ready to spot and take up a case on every one of,  probably, several new disablist (or ageist)offences a day.

    If people experience racist,( I. E. criminal) offences, they need not prosecute cases themselves. 

    Which is not logical, given that Sir Trevor Phillips (then chair of ehrc) declared that, in it's effect on people's lives, disablism is, in many ways,  "worse than racism".


  • robert_gillrobert_gill Posts: 4Member Listener
    edited September 2018
    Hi @newborn , thanks for taking the time to share your views. Would you be comfortable with us quoting some of your post in our written evidence to the work and pensions select committee? If you would like to discuss this further then please contact me at [email protected] Thanks.  
  • mossycowmossycow Posts: 463Community champion Pioneering
    My experience highlights the vagueness and difficulties with the phrases "where they can" and "reasonable adjustments".  Living in  town where there are many in accessible buildings based around a lumpy, cobbles Vocitiona market place means that any business that is not accessible to me can say "oh its the buildings"... Some businesses will almost use those phrases of 'where they csn' as an excuse. 

    However someone else down the street will open the back door, or have bought a portable ramp, or will enable you to access services in another way... There doesn't seem to be a consistency. 

    The other thing that concerns me sometimes is that although I (like most disabled people I think) are used to going about things in a  different way. Maybe a different entrance? Different area to sit it? And most of the time this is fine... But occasionally I have that experience where the only time I can enter our brand new local cinema for example is buy waiting 20 minutes for staff, being accompanied in a dark lift, past the concrete walls they haven't bothered to decorate and into a booth that only holds three people.... I can join in but..  My experience is not as good as those walking in with their friends.

    Another example of this was when I went to a local bank to talk about remortgaging our house. I called before hand to check it was accessible and the short story is that it wasn't. The bank manager came out and said would I like to discuss things outside... This was a reasonable adjustment but... I didn't feel like discussing our personal finances out in the street! 


    I have had some excellent service and experiences from businesses really pushing hard for equality and it makes a massive different. The entire feel of a trip is different when I know it won't be full of fuss and difficulties and I don't feel disabled anymore. For example my hairdresser: I am able to park right outside due to blue badge, and get in as my hair dresser books me in when it is quiet. She washes my hair gently and I sit on my own chair. I pay by contact less and I look forward to it as it is so stress free. I am loyal to her! 


    Something worth noticing is that I am a mystery shopper and have been involved in a few campaigns that are assessing how accessible some shops and services are. 

    I spoke to Kristina (I think - I'm dreadful with names) about Scope doing some mystery shopping on businesses. Volunteer disabled people could report back on using certain shops etc. I suspect that UK shops and services WANT to be accessible and that having something with Scopes's clout would encourage businesses to push a bit more into 'what is reasonable' and would raise overall standards. 

    Because the last issue is information. Where do businesses get advice from about being accessible? It is not easy, let alone funding. I'm involved with several projects where people have had an amazingly inclusive attitude but have questions like 'where does the bar go on the door? "" how do I cater for good lighting for the visually impaired while not making others with light sensitive feel discomfort" etc. 

    I'm writing access guides for local venues at the moment and even as someone living a disabled life, it is very hard to enter the skin of every disabled person as we are all different people with different and sometimes contradictory needs. 

    Who should businesses etc get this info from? 

    How is the law upheld? 

    Are there funding opportunities for small (or large) businesses wanting to be more accessible etc.? 


    Anyway, these are my thoughts. 

    Excellent project, wish you well with it. 


    "I'm trying to live like a random poem I read that ended 'to bloom where we are planted"

  • MarkmywordsMarkmywords Posts: 397Member Pioneering
    edited September 2018
    The simple fact is that the EA is not policed or enforced.
    Disability discrimination from vendors/service providers is not enforced whatsoever.
    Employment discrimination is enforceable only by Tribunal per employee and a case regarding selection and recruiting is almost guaranteed to fail.
    No mechanism or body exists to criminally punish individual employers or organisations with illegal policies/activities.
    Civil law is toothless and unaffordable to vulnerable minorities.
    We don't want Legal Aid. We need ALL crimes to be punished by the criminal legal system.

    The EHCR is of no practical value. When did they last prosecute someone?

    "We do not get involved in every issue or dispute, however. We only use our legal or enforcement powers when it is the best way to achieve change, such as:

    • to clarify the law, so people and organisations have a clearer understanding of their rights and duties
    • to highlight priority issues and force these back to the top of the agenda
    • to challenge policies or practices that cause significant disadvantage, sometimes across a whole industry or sector"
    "Clarify, highlight and challenge" seriously? Just get your snout out the tax trough!
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 205Member Pioneering
    i couldn't possibly comment.   But if you happen to hear cheering..................
  • o5jessicao5jessica Posts: 42Member Connected
    Hello. 

    MPs from the Women and Equalities Select Committee are carrying out an inquiry into the enforcement of the Equality Act. You can find out more about the inquiry on the Committee’s page within the parliament website.

    At Scope, we are preparing a response to the inquiry about disabled people’s experiences of using their rights under the Equality Act.

    The Equality Act is a law designed to tackle disadvantage in the UK. It was introduced in 2010 and builds on the Disability Discrimination Act.

    There are many different ways the Equality Act aims to tackle disadvantages disabled people face. For example:

    -       Where they can, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to interview processes for disabled applicants, for example, by allowing a candidate with dyslexia more time to complete a test.

    -       Where they can, businesses are expected to change products or services so that they are accessible for disabled customers. For example, by installing induction loops within a bank branch or providing accessible vehicles within a taxi service.

    -       The Equality Act protects people from discrimination or harassment related to disability at work

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission is an independent organisation which is responsible for enforcing the Equality Act. You can find out more about the Act and how it affects you on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

    Share your views and experiences

    We would like to hear from people who have thought about exercising their rights as a disabled person under the Equality Act.  

    -       Would you feel able to use your rights under the Act?

    o   If yes, what information and support would help you with this?

    o   If no, could you tell us about what is putting you off?

    -       If you have used your rights under the Act,

    o   What worked well?

    o   If you have come across any challenges, what were they? 

     

    -       How should information about disabled people’s rights under the Act be communicated?

    If you have any thoughts or experiences you would like to share with me then please send them to Robert Gill at [email protected] by no later than Sunday 23 September. You could also respond to the inquiry directly by preparing a document on Microsoft Word and sending it to the committee on the submission form within their website. The findings from this inquiry will be written up into a report that Government will respond to, so any evidence we can gather about the effectiveness of the Equality Act could help change Government policy. Any comments we receive will only be used in our response to this consultation unless you give us permission to use them again. If you wish to provide us with feedback but don’t want your comments to be made public, then we are happy to keep them anonymous.

    Many thanks.

    Robert. 
    I again experience lack of rqequali in NHS trust hospital no aids disadvantage no staff training help pbhphysi disabilities .rush in no support no clear traning my needs the ot equipment not on a ans e ward . Only if one get admitted to ward one, shoish get key full needs assessment not happen again .  Noone talks or hold key it data to help me, plus my mental health become wrose as result, wrose too to come, this resent
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 205Member Pioneering
    open hatred ridicule  and contempt might reasonably be a criminal offence and, for health and care staff, an open and shut sacking and banning offence.  So might collusion by failure to whistleblow.   

    Culture change will only happen when staff have more to lose by keeping silent, thus being deemed complicit, than they have by telling tales on colleagues and risking being turned upon.

    Only today, an ex-O.T. mentioned the reason she left the N.H.S was because she couldn't stand witnessing cruelty, abuse, and shocking medical mismanagement simply due to prejudice and disablist hatred.  The final straw was an amputee, returned to hospital because the nurses instructed to attend his home to change his dressings had decided not to go, on grounds he was not polite enough to meet their standards.   The result was, he had maggots pouring out of the amputation wound.

    Senile, mentally ill, traumatised or brain injured patients have no ability to be socially acceptable and polite.    It is the task of carers to be respectful, not the task of disabled patients
  • JazCoJazCo Posts: 35Member Courageous
    I find a major issue is the roads/pavements. The curbs are too high, the paths are tiny and on bin collection day people in chairs are forced to go on the road, so so so many places I see cars parking 80% on the path,a again leaving anyone with a chair or pram to go on the road. I dont use a chair, but these are my observations as someone able to physically walk.

    These issues ca  raise bigger problems in that access to shops or workplace is too difficult to do alone.

    Just a couple.of quick points of the top of my head. Local councils do not seem to find fixing some of these an important matter
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,646Member Disability Gamechanger
    Access to gp services seems to be getting harder and more restrictive. For example, at mine you have to phone for appointments at 8:30 a m and keep trying to get through before 9 a m. This process is very stressful for people with anxiety or m h issues nevermind restrictive for anyone who cant phone at that time. Secondly, youcan only address one issue at a time per appointment and must make double or further appointments for more issues. As someone recovering from agoraphobia and anxiety, its very hard for me to make steps to go to my g p and I have multiple health issues that affect me as a whole person. This increases my anxiety and I avoid going further. Thirdly, my surgery pushes you for telephone appointments which can be appropriate in some cases but not in others. Its like we are getting less access to our g p surgery and its harder to deal with generally. Where are these guidelines coming from? In other nhs departments like physio its the same, one issue per referral, per appointment. We are whole people, the sum of all our parts and having any disabilities, its even more important to get help for our issues in a more balanced way. I sometimes wish we were back to the small g p practices where we knew our g p and they knew us and not this automative impersonal service its becoming.


    I am a fibrowarrior!
  • robert_gillrobert_gill Posts: 4Member Listener
    @mossycow @Markmywords @o5jessica @newborn @JazCo @debbiedo49 many thanks to you all for sharing your views. 
  • JazCoJazCo Posts: 35Member Courageous
    Access to gp services seems to be getting harder and more restrictive. For example, at mine you have to phone for appointments at 8:30 a m and keep trying to get through before 9 a m. This process is very stressful for people with anxiety or m h issues nevermind restrictive for anyone who cant phone at that time. Secondly, youcan only address one issue at a time per appointment and must make double or further appointments for more issues. As someone recovering from agoraphobia and anxiety, its very hard for me to make steps to go to my g p and I have multiple health issues that affect me as a whole person. This increases my anxiety and I avoid going further. Thirdly, my surgery pushes you for telephone appointments which can be appropriate in some cases but not in others. Its like we are getting less access to our g p surgery and its harder to deal with generally. Where are these guidelines coming from? In other nhs departments like physio its the same, one issue per referral, per appointment. We are whole people, the sum of all our parts and having any disabilities, its even more important to get help for our issues in a more balanced way. I sometimes wish we were back to the small g p practices where we knew our g p and they knew us and not this automative impersonal service its becoming.
    I suffer the same, my gp allows you to make appointments online - all GP's need to get this. However, their downfall is that you ring or book online for appointments for THE NEXT DAY...  Unless it's an emergency, you can't get a same day appointment, which I have never heard of.
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 205Member Pioneering
    Does Scope think that 'Have you ever felt excluded', and 'Have your say on the equality act, '  seem to be overlapping threads not usefully kept apart?

    In fact, the whole scope site is jammed with horror stories and astonishing examples.  The complacency of rulers and their agents ought to be shaken by forcing them to look at the reality.

    An example currently is the  decades of officially  ignored, denied, or condoned abuse in care homes, to the point where abuse or neglect permeates 99% (Telegraph, 17 Sept, 2018)

    Kicking and screaming, m.P's have finally been forced to pay at least some, perfunctory, attention to these u.k. officially sanctioned torture centres.   Multiple journalists have proved, year after year, decade after decade, that absolute power corrupts, and that where people or animals are vulnerable and unprotected, cruelty is inevitable.     

    That's  why, despite the official rule that a vet must be present in abbattoirs,  m.P's made a law that there must be cctv, to curtail the cruelty.

    They have resisted cctv in care homes. Now the abusive ones are 99%, our 'representatives' in their palaces of Westminster have begun to concede that it might be a good plan to ask (not order) care homes to fit cctv. 

    But they are proposing that the corridors and any other public areas are the places to fit cctv.

    There is no suggestion, no suggestion at all, that it should be in exactly those areas where the worst abuses will inevitably  be carried out.  I.E. behind closed doors.   Abusers will invariably choose a closed room to carry out crimes.  They will not take their victims to the public entrance hall each time they wish to do harm.

    Private areas without cctv is where people are bullied, raped, beaten, threatened and terrorised. Not halls and corridors. Yet the m.P's have been plainly told that putting cctv in NON-public areas has been proved to improve standards. (See Telegraph item above)

    People who are old or disabled are theoretically still real people with full human rights.   "Shut up Marjory, or we'll break every bone in your effing body"  was secretly filmed.  Marjory was old, disabled, in pain, and blind.  She was covered in injuries from the 'care'  staff, too.  When rough handling hurt her, she cried in pain and helplessness, alone and undefended in the world.  If she had been in prison for murder, she would have rights, and access at least in theory to systems of defence and representation.  In a care home, she had no rights.  Her crying out just irritated her bullies to hurt her even more, as 'punishment '

    Rearranged deckchairs are not the solution. Cosy chats to conform to box ticking 'consultation', followed by return to business as usual, are not the solution.  Disabled and old people,  and any who lovingly care for them,  need united, truly representative representatives to speak for them, to join forces,  and to enforce dramatic revolutionary change, right now. 
  • vysvadervysvader Posts: 120Member Courageous
    edited October 2018
    One can see an amazing progress (already reached) in the legislative field (you can see it as a compliment/success), but notwithstanding, pragmatically, we don't see any difference in any practice, in a real life because there's no implementation and reinforcement by "competent" institutions, thus the protective instruments don't work/exist. 

    To be honest and realistic, there are no people willing to solve out the mess. OK, so there are already many protective laws, but will there be even someone willing to speak about or will people just make a smile, play that the bad things didn't happen/exist when some's discriminated/harassed and philosophize why it's "good" to keep it how it's? Or are there really people staying behind disabled the same way as backing (some particularly chosen) minorities, genders, etc? The last two questions were rhetoric.
    You can feel free to get in touch 
  • newbornnewborn Posts: 205Member Pioneering
    Going back to o.p., the m.p's will have nothing to do. They are supposedly investigating 'enforcement' equality law.

     There is no enforcement.   Therefore,  there is nothing for them to investigate. 

    There is a public funding torrent to the Single,  More Equal Than Others equality, which is the only one considered a crime.

    There is private funding readily available to the clamourous gay m.p.s' lobby.

    Thassorl. 


  • raxaraxa Posts: 36Member Connected
    Hi I would like to share my biggest issue is, my son has autism with learning difficulties, I have had very good support until  the age of 19 as he turned 20 all the support and concern are gone, because his ADULT dont care he has autisum, he is a vaurnable ADULT.  He was in residential placement for 3 years, which i really appreciate, unfortunately he didn't had good transaction, he was been offered an place harrow weald campus without any support , he couldn't manage college environment.  He only wants to do Computer Technology i have been everywhere but i feel i am failure, as I couldn't find anything suitable for my son, now we both are seating at feeling isolated, i really dont know what is coming next for us?😭😭
  • uniquejourneyuniquejourney Posts: 14Member Connected
    there needs to be a major crack down on equality on schools, because honestly the amount of different things i have tried and the different schools that have gone badly in terms of my disabilities is ridiculous.
  • vysvadervysvader Posts: 120Member Courageous
    edited December 2018
    raxa,
    Hiya, from 23rd Sep., it's an outdated topic wherein your post is (anyway) off topic thus none searches within and reacts on your post. Try a different, thematically related category/content and let's see a response. 


    You can feel free to get in touch 
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