Disabled campaigners believe they are “one step closer to justice”, despite losing a legal case against the government over the potentially ruinous costs of taking discrimination cases through the courts. A high court judge yesterday (Wednesday) dismissed an application for judicial review […]
The bus industry is facing fresh legal action over its failure to ensure disabled people have access to the designated wheelchair spaces on buses, six months after a Supreme Court judgment that campaigners hoped would finally settle the issue.
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in January that wheelchair-users have a right to priority access over the wheelchair space on a bus, and that a driver must do more than just ask a non-disabled passenger to move if they are occupying the space and it is needed by someone using a wheelchair.
But accessible transport campaigners said this week that, although there had been an initial improvement following the judgment, standards “were starting to slip again”.
London’s user-led accessible transport charity, Transport for All (TfA), met last week to mark six months since the Supreme Court judgment.
The meeting heard from one wheelchair-user
Star wheelchair tennis player Jordanne Whiley MBE said she couldn’t believe how she was treated by the driver A Paralympic medalist and tennis champion was snubbed by an Uber driver – after he saw she was in a wheelchair. Nine times wheelchair tennis grand slam champion Jordanne Whiley MBE, who lives in Ickenham , could not believe her eyes when the driver turned up, noticed her wheelchair and drove off. The 24-year-old sports star became Britain’s youngest ever national women’s singles champion in wheelchair, aged just 14. The inspirational tennis champion was awarded an MBE in 2015 for her contribution to sport . But Jordanne took to Twitter on Monday (June 5) after she was allegedly discriminated against when she ordered an Uber. She wrote: “Can’t believe my Uber driver pulled up, saw my wheelchairs and just drove off! Isn’t that against the law now?!” A further tweet then revealed the name of the driver who left her stranded in Ickenham. An Uber spokesman said: “We do not tolerate
A disabled activist has won a three-year battle with his bank over its refusal to allow him to communicate by email and provide him with a direct telephone contact number as reasonable adjustments.
The Financial Ombudsman ruled that the Co-operative Bank had failed in its duties under the Equality Act, and awarded Adam Lotun £800 compensation.
He had repeatedly asked over more than three years for the bank to make reasonable adjustments to take account of his hearing impairment, autism and memory problems.
As well as turning down Lotun’s request for a way to communicate with the bank by email, it failed to provide a direct telephone number for him and other disabled people to contact staff who were trained to deal with customers with access needs.
A bus company forced to change its policies after a ground-breaking Supreme Court access case has been accused of treating disabled peple and the legal system with contempt, after it revealed the measures it has taken to comply with the judgment. Last month, disabled activist Doug Paulley and other campaigners celebrated after the Supreme Court ruled that First Bus had breached its duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the Equality Act through its “first come, first served” policy on the use of wheelchair spaces. It was the first case of disability discrimination in service provision to be heard by the country’s highest court. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that disabled passengers have a right to priority access over the wheelchair space on a bus, and that a driver must do more than simply ask a non-disabled passenger to move. Until yesterday (Wednesday), First Bus had not revealed what action it would take to comply with that ruling. But First Bus has now
Staffing cuts across the rail industry – forced on train companies by the government – are damaging the rights of disabled passengers to catch trains without having to book assistance in advance, according to campaigners. The user-led accessible transport charity Transport for All (TfA) said the Department for Transport (DfT) was embedding such cuts in rail franchise agreements with train companies, making it even harder for disabled and older people who need assistance to board and disembark trains to travel “spontaneously”. Two representatives of the rail industry appeared to agree that the government was to blame and had forced the staffing cuts on train-operating companies – affecting station and on-board staff – although one of them later appeared to backtrack on that claim. Faryal Velmi, TfA’s director, told Tuesday’s Pan London Mobility Forum: “‘Turn up and go’ is not rocket science. “We are living in one of the richest cities, in one of the richest countries in the world.” She
The country’s largest disability charities have been accused of “selling out” disabled people, as they look set to play a significant role in providing back-to-work services under the government’s new Work and Health Programme. Disability News Service (DNS) has contacted seven of the largest disability charities – most of which are not user-led – and none of them has ruled out seeking contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Disabled activists say this means the charities will be unable to campaign effectively on welfare reform, because of the size of contracts on offer. All seven – the group that in past years were known as the “big seven” disability charities – insist that any contracts they win from the government will have no impact on their campaigning work, including whether they speak up about social security reform, including cuts to disability benefits and back-to-work policies for disabled people. But their generally supportive responses to the government’s
A disabled peer has vowed to fight on after the government rejected her proposal to introduce a new law that would force bus companies to protect the interests of disabled passengers. Baroness Campbell had suggested an amendment to the government’s bus services bill that would have forced operators to publish policies on access for disabled people and “actively help them to use bus services”. She said government plans to just publish new guidance were not good enough and would “never deliver the result that we need – that is, full, guaranteed access for disabled people”. Baroness Campbell – whose amendment was backed by both Labour and the Liberal Democrats– said: “Guidance without statutory backing or any enforcement behind it can be ignored with impunity – and, let us face it, we have plenty of experience of public services doing just that. “Guidance is fine, but we know that it can be left on the shelf and ignored. People may start with good intentions but, in reality, other
A teenager with cerebral palsy was left in tears after being refused entry to Visions Video Bar in Dalston, east London, last week by a manager and two security staff because of her condition.
Katouche Goll, 19, told BuzzFeed News that she was turned away as part of the club’s policy not to let disabled people into the venue for health and safety reasons.
Goll has lived with cerebral palsy – which affects mobility and coordination – since birth and needs to use two canes or crutches to get around when she’s outside her home.
Goll arrived at the nightclub on Friday night just before 11:30pm. She said the bouncers initially mistook her for a passer-by. “They thought I was trying to get past them to continue down the street, but I explained to them that I was here to come to Visions,” she said.
“At first they asked me…
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