Why should persons with disability have to contend with attitudes of Ryanair and OmniServ as having a disability is not a barrier it is the attitude and the inflexible systems of others that are the barriers.

The Ryanair pilot is in dire need of diversity training as the problem was not the ‘lady with the wheelchair’ but with the pilot.

Ryanair action immediately.

Maija Mattila- Mixed Race Model With Downs

It is good that Maija is realising her dream and acknowledged the barriers before her to which she managed to overcome.

Modeling is not an easy experience for anyone, but even with all her additional barriers Maija came through.

I wish her well for the future.

Same Difference

When a mixed-race girl with Down’s syndrome sat down to watch Finland’s Next Top Model, it might have seemed a distant world. But for Maija Mattila, it started the dream that changed her life.

Maija watched in awe as the tall, dark, aspiring model walked in front of judges of the reality TV show and posed for the camera. This was Polina Hiekkala, and she was doing everything Maija wanted to do.

Maija’s hazel brown eyes light up when she talks about modelling.

The young Finnish-Nigerian woman explains how she has watched countless hours of catwalk videos on YouTube since being inspired by Hiekkala in 2012.

“I started practising my walk at home, in front of the mirror,” she says.

Maija, who was born with Down’s syndrome and is now 20, leans gently against her mother and laughs shyly when recalling her early steps towards a modelling career.

Her mother…

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As A Disabled Woman I Had To Battle To Get Married

People may have some form of disability, but why should this be a barrier in life, for is life not just what you make it to be.

People talk about ‘normal’ but what is ‘normal’ is this just a perception for what could be ‘normal’ for one may not be ‘normal’ for another.

Being with another, be it marriage or not, is creating a relationship to which both parties belong and relate to.

The two persons are the important factors in the relationship and others or Society should not be imposing any barriers to that relationship, provided both are consenting partners, they are of legal age and have the capacity to consent.

Same Difference

Sometimes he’d even forget that I only had one arm. He was an able-bodied person, a complete man – he could get any girl.

But he was with me. It had been a year since we started living together under one roof without getting married.

The decision to stay together while unmarried was not an easy one.

It started after I created my profile on a matrimonial site to alleviate my mother’s concern about my marriage.

I had turned 26 and my mother thought it was time.

My left arm had got cut off in an accident when I was a child, so I understood her anxiety about my marriage.

One day, I got a request on the matrimonial site. The man was an engineer by profession. He was Bengali too, just like me, though from a different city.

But I was unable to decide anything. So I wrote back…

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Barriers, breaking them down and creating equality.

Philipa at Changepeople

Over four thousand people have seen and shared on Twitter the horrifically degrading and abusive photo of the support worker employed by Mencap talking on the phone while smoking a cigarette and standing by the Disabled Person they are supposed to be supporting who is covered in their shopping bags balanced humiliatingly across them and their wheelchair.

When we see practice like this or like we saw on the Panorama programme of Winterbourne View, we collectively feel appalled and ashamed of how society can and does treat people with learning disabilities. Speaking with people with learning disabilities employed at CHANGE hearing the story made them feel angry and demeaned. What is perhaps the hardest thing to bear is that we also know that this is not a one off ‘bad’support worker. This is not just something that happens to be caught (luckily) on camera one day in a service run…

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Pre-Paralympic Games poll shows disabled people feel shut out of sport and exercise | DisabledGo News and Blog

Gyms, leisure centres and other sports facility providers in the UK are failing to provide activities that many disabled people feel they can participate in, a new poll conducted by Leonard Cheshire Disability and ComRes has found. Over half (57%) of the disabled people surveyed in our pre-Paralympic Games investigation said they had completed no moderate intensity physical activity at all in the last seven days. In stark contrast, just 24% of non-disabled adults made the same claim. ‘A lack of exercise provision suitable for disabled people’ was the main barrier for disabled people, with inaccessible facilities (26%) and fear of injury (21%) also named. Leonard Cheshire Disability Chief Executive Clare Pelham said: “At the start of this Paralympic Year, let’s put this right.” “Every January millions of us resolve to get fit. And by February, we are flagging. Imagine how much harder it would be to keep your new year’s resolution if, when you arrive at the gym, none of the equipment is

Source: Pre-Paralympic Games poll shows disabled people feel shut out of sport and exercise | DisabledGo News and Blog

New research reveals desire for more active lifestyles and demand for greater access to fitness facilities amongst disabled people | DisabledGo News and Blog

94% of people believe more should be done to provide disabled people with equal access to fitness and leisure facilities, according to findings released today

Source: New research reveals desire for more active lifestyles and demand for greater access to fitness facilities amongst disabled people | DisabledGo News and Blog

20 years on from the Disability Discrimination Act disabled people’s rights are still not fully realised

Original post from Equality and Human Rights Commission

‘…………..Written by Chris Holmes

Man in wheelchairThis year sees the twentieth anniversary of the seminal Disability Discrimination Act (1995), reflecting the progress society has made in understanding the lives of disabled people and safeguarding their rights.

Anniversaries always provide good opportunities for reflection, but we certainly can’t be complacent.

Barriers to the full participation of disabled people still persist. It is unacceptable, that provisions which have been on the statute book for 20 years have not yet been brought into force. Many disabled people are still ‘locked out’ of full participation in society due to barriers remaining in the provision of housing, transport, leisure facilities, education and workplaces. Just as important as removing barriers to employment and fundamental services is to ensure that disabled people can effectively and fully participate in civic, political and public life on an equal basis with others. This is why today I am setting the challenge of five key actions to tackle the barriers that prevent disabled people participating in political life.

In my previous role as Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012, I was determined that the 2012 Paralympic Games would not only be an inspiration for generations to come, but would also leave behind an international and national legacy that supported the aspirations of disabled people to achieve in education, employment and social life.

My involvement in delivering this legacy was one reason why I was delighted to join the Equality and Human Rights Commission as Disability Commissioner, providing leadership in its role to influence and regulate government, employers and service providers, and driving forward a range of actions to help disabled people play a full part in society.

The Commission has delivered many vital interventions on behalf of disabled people in recent years.

Of course, people rightly challenge us to go further, and we must continually look to the future and do more.

In an era of scarcer resources, we also need to be more outward-looking, and forge new partnerships and relationships. We can’t deliver change alone.

Our comprehensive strategy is underpinned by three priorities:

Firstly, to promote fairness and equality of opportunity in Great Britain’s future economy.

We have taken legal action on the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF); we have developed a new e-learning course aimed at removing barriers to education for disabled children and young people; we are reviewing disability pay gaps; and encouraging action to increase the number of disabled people in public appointments, to ensure representation in important decision-making. In addition to this, our assessment of compliance with the public sector equality duty during the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review led to the Treasury reviewing its decision-making process to ensure it takes account of the impact of changes on disabled people. This week we have written to DWP to flag our concerns about the extent to which the likely impact of measures in the new Welfare Reform and Work Bill on disabled people and others are properly understood.

Secondly, to promote fair access to public services, and autonomy and dignity in service delivery

We have tested the law and taken action to challenge a wide range of physical barriers including inaccessible sports stadia, taxis, buses, trains, retailers, and workplaces, challenging powerful commercial enterprises and public authorities. For example, we are supporting wheelchair user Doug Paulley in his case against First Bus Group and we published a passport-sized leaflet to advise disabled passengers of their rights when travelling by air.

Thirdly, to promote dignity and respect, and contribute to keeping people safe.

Our inquiry into disability-related harassment made recommendations to address the dire lack of reporting, recognition and recording of disability related harassment and hate crimes and the subsequent lack of access to justice.

Our investigation into deaths in custody of adults with mental health conditions made a range of recommendations – many of which have now been adopted by Government including stopping the practice of using police cells as a “place of safety” for people with mental health issues.

Our international work includes producing the first ever report into how the UK is meeting its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

I could go on but I know we can’t rest on our laurels, given the breadth and scale of the challenges still faced by disabled people.

Our forthcoming review of progress in Britain on equality and human rights -‘Is Britain Fairer?’ will show the daily challenges many disabled people in Britain still face, and inform our future priorities.

Despite what many saw as a changed attitude as a result of the Paralympic Games, many disabled people still experience day-to-day verbal and physical abuse.

Over the coming years, we want to work to further develop a landscape where business and employers value the talents of disabled people, and where we can all enjoy a society that recognises the social and economic value of delivering accessible and inclusive services. This is why we want to meet more groups which bring together the concerns of disabled people.

Without close collaboration, we can only achieve a tiny fraction of the possible. This is why the Disability Committee I lead at the Commission is travelling across the country to meet with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) and hear people’s concerns. We would like to hear from as many DPOs as possible so if we have not met with you yet, please contact us at –  – we would be very interested to hear from you.

We all have more work to do, and we look forward to working with you to build a legacy for the next 20 years.