Disabled people in the legal profession are facing widespread discrimination, with outdated working practices and a failure to provide them with the support they need, according to early results from a ground-breaking piece of research.
The initial findings of the Legally Disabled? research project show that disabled people seeking jobs or working in the legal profession are “an untapped resource”.
They have often been attracted to a career in the law because of “a strong passion for human rights and fairness”, and their lived experience of disability has led to “strong ambition, tenacity, determination and excellent problem-solving skills”.
But positive experiences of “support, good attitudes and appropriate reasonable adjustments are a lottery”, say the researchers.
The early findings of the research have come from eight focus groups of disabled legal professionals, including judges, barristers and solicitors.
A “large proportion” of those who took part in the focus groups said they had faced disability discrimination.
The aims of the research, which is being conducted by Professor Debbie Foster, of Cardiff University Business School, and independent researcher Dr Natasha Hirst, are to explore the barriers to employment and career progression and examine ways in which they have been addressed successfully.
They then hope to identify ways in which the legal profession can become more inclusive and accessible for disabled people.
Source: Disabled lawyers face widespread discrimination, say researchers | DisabledGo News and Blog
Virgin Media and disability charity Scope are teaming up to highlight disability discrimination in football grounds. New research published today shows that disabled football fans feel excluded from live games. Eight in ten who attend football stadiums across the UK say they have experienced some form of discrimination or other issues resulting from their disability. As a result, the majority (62%) of these disabled fans said these experiences had stopped them from going to a live match again. To highlight the issue and to put disabled fans at the heart of the game, the Saints will wear a special Scope-branded shirt for their home match against Manchester United FC on Wednesday 17 May. Virgin Media, the official shirt sponsor of Southampton FC, is removing its logo from the club’s strip to support its charity partner, Scope, in order to get behind disabled football fans. It forms part of the company’s partnership with the charity to help transform the lives of disabled people. Virgin Media
Source: Virgin Media and Scope club together to show disability discrimination the red card | DisabledGo News and Blog
With many UK employers still operating with flawed workplace policies and a lack of suitable facilities for disabled staff, efforts to get more disabled people in work are falling short of official targets and appear difficult to meet. Jermaine Haughton In recent months, a number of stories of disability discrimination have received national and regional coverage, such as that of Andy Davies, 51, from Woolton Merseyside, who recently won an unfair dismissal lawsuit against his former bosses, after he was unfairly sacked from his £100,000-a-year job after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). And the latest research suggests Davies is far from alone from experiencing significant difficulties at work. Despite government initiatives and the support of anti-discrimination legislation, more than a third (37%) of UK workers believe disability is still a barrier to career progression, according to a study commissioned by PMI Health Group, part of Willis Towers Watson. Moreover, nearly
Source: Disability Discrimination Still Blocking Employee Career Progression | DisabledGo News and Blog
A local authority has been heavily criticised for introducing new ways of consulting on disability issues that will exclude most disabled people from taking part. East Riding of Yorkshire Council previously ran a disability advisory and monitoring group (DAMG) which allowed disability groups and disabled campaigners to pass on their views about issues of concern. But following a review, the council – which ran the group alongside the local clinical commissioning group and NHS trust – has now scrapped DAMG and replaced it with a new group that will allow only official representatives of disability organisations to attend. As nearly all of those organisations are not user-led organisations, there are concerns that the new disability advisory group (DAG) will exclude many disabled people from making their views known to the three public bodies. The list of organisations invited to the first meeting appear to show that as few as two of 32 of them are disabled people’s user-led
Source: Council criticised for excluding disabled people from consultation group | DisabledGo News and Blog
Hello My Name is Charlotte. I am Vi and have a Guide Dog named Layla. I was asked to share this thread by @Scope on twitter.
Source: My Guide Dog is the Wrong Colour? — Scope | Disability forum
Lawyers, campaigners, peers and academics have spoken of how disabled people can find it almost impossible to enforce their rights to equality, six years after the introduction of the Equality Act. They were speaking at a seminar in London – organised by the Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds, the legal firm Unity Law, and the Cloisters set of barristers – that discussed the findings of a landmark report by a Lords committee on the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled people. The committee, which reported in March, concluded that government was failing to protect disabled people from discrimination, while laws designed to address disability discrimination were “not working in practice”, and spending cuts were having “a hugely adverse effect on disabled people”. Several of those who contributed to yesterday’s (27 April) seminar spoke of how disabled people’s access to justice had been damaged over the last 20 years, since the first Disability Discrimination
Source: ‘Enforcement is key on Equality Act’ | DisabledGo News and Blog
The equality watchdog is set to make nearly 30 members of staff redundant, in what critics say is a blow to its efforts to enforce equality laws and hold the government to account over its record on disability discrimination. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) told staff on Tuesday this week (19 April) that as many as 29 of about 200 posts were at risk, with the possibility of some compulsory redundancies. In a consultation paper titled Moving Towards A New EHRC, the commission talks of “fundamental changes to the way in which we do our work” and says that it will “examine opportunities for sharing services with other regulators, and build more alliances with third parties”. It points as an example of such alliances elsewhere in the public sector to the link between NHS Blood and Transplant and the dating site Tinder to raise awareness about organ donations. It also says that it will now “focus on a smaller number of bigger projects and programmes”. The paper mentions an
Source: Fresh staff cuts at EHRC ‘will undermine its vital work’ | DisabledGo News and Blog
MPs and campaigners are calling for an urgent investigation into the Government’s benefit tests after an assessor was filmed dismissing a claimant’s “disability known as fat”.
Source: Calls for Government investigation after benefit assessors caught ‘mocking the disabled’ by undercover reporter | Home News | News | The Independent
A leading national disabled people’s organisation (DPO) is to campaign to produce a “sea change” in attitudes to disability, as one of its priorities over the next three years. In its strategic plan for 2016-19, Disability Rights UK (DR UK) says it will focus its campaigning on independent living, improving disabled people’s career opportunities, and – a new priority for the charity – influencing public behaviour and attitudes. In a blog accompanying the document, DR UK chief executive Liz Sayce points to a phone-in on BBC Radio 5 live last month in which disabled callers spoke of being “rejected, demonised, stared at, made to feel unwelcome everywhere from playgrounds to trains”. Sayce says DR UK now wants to collect disabled people’s experiences of some of the worst experiences they have faced, “whether it’s being viewed as scroungers or incompetents, being feared or looked down on, avoided or bullied”. And she suggests there is a need for a “strong, united message” that resonates
Source: Sayce calls for ‘strong, united message’ to change hostile attitudes | DisabledGo News and Blog