25 years on – The Disability Discrimination Act how far have we come?

It’s 25 years since the Disability Discrimination Act became law, but the campaign for equality goes on!

Passed on 8 November 1995 I was just 16 years old and very much clueless to a Community struggling in a world that discriminated against disabled people in regards to employment, education, transport, or goods and services. It’s a world I feel I was very much sheltered from but really should have seen more of the struggles as my own mum is disabled.

I watched a strong fearless lady raise two children never complaining of any of the struggles that she was facing in the world that doesn’t except her. My mum, and as an adult I now understand why my mum never really felt the need to sit my brother and myself down to explain the everyday struggles she faced – a world where there was no guarantee we would ever be a part of. Why, because muscular dystrophy a muscle wasting condition is a complex condition it can affect just one member of your family or it can affect a whole family like mine.

25 years on the BBC is to mark the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) with a series of dramas, documentaries, news packages and discussions.

How far have we really come in the grand scheme of things?

The DDA was amended in 2005. However, since 2010, Tory governments have made amendments to these laws, such as the removal of the Disability Living Allowance replacing it with the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), since the introduction of PIP many disabled people have faced even more hardship the cruel and inhumane sanctions regime, and cutting funding to disabled people’s led organisations. This was – and still is – a programme that need a lot more work to make sure disabled people aren’t left feeling demonised, and the lives and livelihoods of disabled people are not harmed mentally.

we still have such a long way to go to ensure equality for disabled people. As much as some things are better we are a far cry away from really being seen as equal in many ways, If anything the last few months have just proven how much work still needs to be done when words like ‘the vulnerable” are being used we seriously run the risk of going backwards and undermine all our gains over the last 25 years.

Over 14 million disabled people in the UK

  • 91% of homes do not provide the four access features for even the lowest level of accessibility – a home that is ‘visitable
  • 24% of disabled people do not have a home that meets their access needs.
  • 1/4 million disabled people and families can’t use a standard accessible toilet.
  • 75% of disabled people have had to leave a store or website, unable to go through with their purchase because it didn’t cater to their disabled needs.
  • 24% (18-34) can’t lead independent lives.
  • 60% of pubs and clubs inaccessible.
  • 80% feel overlooked during the pandemic.

For me, the most important thing is to continue fighting for the future of the next generation, to enable disabled people to use the law without the burden of it falling completely on the individual.

If it’s ever going to change. The change must come about with disabled people, nothing will ever be understood unless every conversation had about disabled people, involves disabled people.

Feel free to leave me a comment – I would love to hear your thoughts on how far we have come or what more would you like to see change??

Kisses K

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