WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

UEA = Un Equal Access?

I think you might find the following Facebook exchange interesting.

Initially I wrote after being invited to a rally opposing the closure of the UEA music section (some months ago I had been blocked attendance at a trade union meeting in a lecture room because there was no wheelchair access): “I'd like to get there but is it somewhere in the UEA I can get to in a wheelchair? I've been blocked from UEA meetings before because of UEA discrimination!”

The reply from the organisers said: “The event is being held in the LCR which is in Union House and it is wheelchair accessible.

Then, from someone called, 'Charlie Gibbons': “Ye (sic) thats right, you was (sic) discriminated against, nonsense”

and my reply: You experience it and call it nonsense!!!

From another person, JL: “Charlie, disallowing access to certain people is discrimination by definition.”

Charlie Gibbons: “Just because there isn't a ramp isn't discrimination. Telling someone you can't come in because you don't allow disable people is. I take it there was just insufficient access methods to the building you had to attend. That is not discrimination.”

From yet another contributor, JC: “If there isn't access where there feasibly could be access then yes, it's still discrimination by the definition of the law. Regardless of what the law says, if Mike feels discriminated against then he was discriminated against - your comment is offensive, I'd keep quiet before you dig a deeper hole.”

Charlie Gibbons: “No, it means a ramp hasn't been built yet, nothing to do with the law. They have stair climbing wheelchairs on sale now so it is possible to access anywhere in the university. Nothing to do with discrimination whatsoever”

From the other contributor, DS: “Discrimination can be direct (we won't let you in because x) or indirect (you aren't able to come in because x). Either way, it's the responsibility of the Union to ensure that all of our facilities & publicly accessible spaces are accessible to all (including eg. those using wheelchairs) under various legislation, incudint (sic) the Equalities Act 2010.”

Charlie Gibbons: “Indirect discrimination is the law's way of making excuses for something. It isn't discrimination, its just unfortunate”

Me: “Is Charlie Gibbons something to do with the UEA?”

Charlie Gibbons: "Disability union rep"
I don't take kindly to people who imply that the university doesn't cater for disabled people."

I take issue with people who say that the university doesn't cater for disabled people when it clearly does."

Me: “My regrets. With this divisive climate of conflict I'm afraid I must bow out of joining you. Good luck with the campaign.”

There are other posts in which Charlie is just making insulting statements. I wondered, open mouthed, if this was real......

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The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
Ah sweet Youffff