The following statement was issued by Coventry Council of Disabled People on the International and European Day of Disabled People December 3rd 1997
Disability in one country ...
There are several
different models of disability including the medical, the
social and the environmental, however what matters most
in the international arena is the political model.
Disability is not a constant condition. A person's
disability can vary according to location or situation,
for example a person with quite severe impairments can
work in a responsible position, given suitable equipment
and access to the workplace however if social barriers to
employment such as strict medical criteria or other
prejudiced selection criteria based on appearance are in
place employment is not given.
Catch 22, political action vs political correctness
If the home is not provided with the
same facilities as the workplace, whether it be an
adapted toilet or a computer communication device. Or if
a carer/enabler is not available at the right time, this
individual may not even be able to get up for work.
Furthermore the cost of these services at home and the
difficulties of finding statutory help mean that it is
often necessary to be working in order to provide a
sufficient income to pay for them all. Regrettably in
most towns social services care policies are still geared
towards a population who are presumed to be either
retired or incapable of work. in spite of their constant
resort to the "dictionary of political correctness"
Disabled people do not only live in
Cities in Western Europe. The individual who cannot gain
work because of a disability in this country may find
better access and better job opportunities in the United
States of America, on the other hand if they lived in
Sierra Leone, there may be none of the equipment
available we take for granted.
Disabled people cannot move from a poor
country to a rich one or one with better equal
opportunities as there are such other factors to be
considered as immigration barriers. A disabled Citizen of
Mexico, cannot take up residence in a Spanish speaking
part of America such as Miami or Los Angeles, to take
advantage of the Americans with Disabilities Act because
he/she is not considered an American. A disabled
inhabitant of Hong Kong cannot take up residence and
access the facilities available in this country because
he/she is not British.
DISABILITY KNOWS NO BORDERS, Equal opportunities should not either !
Copyright © 1997 Laurence Arnold & Coventry
Council of Disabled People