Disabled Juror Forced To Quit Case At Maidstone Crown Court Because All Lifts Were Broken


So, here we are again, yes, the inequality with regards to disability which is abound within the UK.

It is now over 10 years since the Equality Act 2010, so why is inequality so rife in the UK?

But, firstly what is disability here is the guidance.

The disability definition from the Equality Act 2010

Section A: The Definition
Main elements of the definition of disability
A1. The Act defines a disabled person as a person with a disability. A
person has a disability for the purposes of the Act if he or she has a
physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial
and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal
day-to-day activities (S6(1)).
A2. This means that, in general:
• the person must have an impairment that is either physical or
mental (see paragraphs A3 to A8);
• the impairment must have adverse effects which are substantial
(see Section B);
• the substantial adverse effects must be long-term (see Section C);
and
• the long-term substantial adverse effects must be effects on
normal day-to-day activities (see Section D).
This definition is subject to the provisions in Schedule 1 (Sch1).
All of the factors above must be considered when determining whether a
person is disabled.

This guidance then goes on to define the severity of disability and other factors.

Then it goes further and defines the ‘Reasonable Adjustments that need to be considered.

Who has to comply and who may not to a degree,

However, in this instance Maidstone Crown Court had complied with the Equality Act 2010, but do so circumstances, maybe outside their control, came into effect making all 5 lifts to be unworkable at the particular point in time.

Could it be argued at reasonable steps to repair some of the lifts were not taken, yes, it could, but that, in this instance would not make it possible for the juror to be able to perform their duty as a juror within the court.

Could other reasonable adjustments have been made, well, yes a video link could have been installed, but was there time for this or had it not been thought of.

Perhaps, in this day of more media being available, such adjustments should be made as a matter of course, to prevent this unexpected breakdown of lists, or would it be viewed as an expense too far for something which may never occur again.

For ‘reasonable’ covers a major area and reasonable is not always sufficiently defined, if ever, and costs would be a factor in deciding reasonability.

This is something for Courts to decide, maybe, even, Maidstone Crown Court!

Same Difference

A disabled juror was forced to quit her duty because all five lifts in a Kent court were broken.

The woman was discharged from a robbery trial after spending a fortnight listening to the case because she could not get back in.

It left just 10 out of 12 jurors because another was discharged earlier.

The case finished the next day with unanimous guilty verdicts against two men at Maidstone Crown Court, the MirrorOnline reports.

Alison Kerry, of disability equality charity Scope, said: “Disabled people shouldn’t be barred from doing their civic duty because our courtrooms aren’t accessible.

“One in five of us is disabled and juries should reflect that.

“It’s unacceptable five lifts could be out of order at once.

“This could also prevent disabled clerks and solicitors from being able to work.

Courts and the government should do much more to make sure our justice system is…

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The DWP just won a court case allowing it to openly discriminate against people | The Canary


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) just won a court case over a controversial cap on a benefit. A solicitor in the case has gone so far as to say the law is now ‘allowing’ the DWP to discriminate against people. What’s more, the DWP even admits that the benefit in question ends up making money for the taxpayer.

The DWP: capping again

As The Canary previously reported, the case centred around the Access to Work (AtW) policy. It is a scheme where the DWP gives a grant to an employee for changes or support they need to carry out their job. This is on top of any reasonable adjustments an employer should make under the Equality Act 2010.

AtW was introduced in 1994 with no limit on the funding available. But in 2015, the Conservative government capped the amount of money claimants could get at £42,100. It was going to increase this amount in April 2018 to £43,100. But on 22 March, the government said it would up it to £57,000. It is the cap itself which was central to the court case.

The legal case

The claimant, David Buxton, argued that the cap breached the government’s obligations under the Equality Act. This is because it doesn’t provide enough support to cover his needs. As the Disability News Service (DNSreported, Buxton, the chief executive of the charity Action on Disability, brought the case against the DWP because it would only give him British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters three days a week for his full-time job.

Buxton and his legal team from Deighton Pierce Glynn argued that the cap discriminates against him. This is because it leaves him with no communication support for two days a week.

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey claims that the cap was put in place:

in order to encourage better use of public funds and to enable Access to Work to support more people – particularly traditionally under-represented groups…

She also said that the cap would free up £2m a year, to “support growing numbers” of people claiming AtW. Effectively, the government’s argument is to take money away from people at the top of the AtW spend and give it to those at the bottom.

A judgement

 

Source: The DWP just won a court case allowing it to openly discriminate against people | The Canary

O’Mara asks for forgiveness and understanding as an autistic MP | DisabledGo News and Blog


A disabled MP has spoken of how being diagnosed as autistic has helped him to understand his behaviour as a younger man that led to his suspension from the Labour party.

Jared O’Mara has told Disability News Service (DNS) that he was diagnosed in January this year by a psychiatrist, three months after his suspension from the party.

He was heavily criticised by disabled campaigners last year when a series of offensive remarks he made about other minority groups and women as a younger man came to light.

But O’Mara has now appealed for understanding and forgiveness for the comments he made as a younger man on an internet chat forum, pointing out that he and other autistic people “don’t understand the social nuances of language and humour in the same way as neurotypical people do”.

The Sheffield Hallam MP told DNS this week: “I still don’t now, and I’m scared that I might be bullied again for my language choices and how I express myself.”

His comments have this week secured support from two leading autistic campaigners, who suggested that he should be forgiven.

O’Mara “unreservedly” apologised again for the comments and said he was “horrified” at the offence he had caused and still felt “so sad and ashamed”.

 

 

Source: O’Mara asks for forgiveness and understanding as an autistic MP | DisabledGo News and Blog

Young disabled people share their hopes for equality


This is great and shows that having a disability does not mean you can’t engage in any aspect of Society. It may not be easy to engage, but Society has to make the reasonable adjustments to ensure there is equality in access.

It may be that Society, while it should, is not sure what reasonable adjustments are required and that again does not mean it can not be done. For if Society does not know then Society needs to ask those that do to achieve equality.

In effect good communication and working together needs to be part of the process, so everyone is engaged with each other.

If this was achieved would not, only, the UK be a better place, but this could be extended to the World at large.

Scope's Blog

Regardless of who we are or where we are from, we must work together to ensure that every member of society has an equal chance to participate in our democracy and to have their say.

Carly Jones MBE hosted an EqualiTeas event at Scope, inviting young disabled people to meet, talk about equality and democracy, eat cake and decorate biscuits! An event championed by UK Parliament, aiming to bring UK communities together to explore what equality means to people.

Carly is an autism advocate who has been tirelessly campaigning for equality for years after her own battle to get a diagnosis.

Here’s Carly’s story.

I asked Scope if they could support a celebration of the “equality of voting rights”, EqualiTeas event at their new Here East offices at Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford. Here I am talking to the Scope team about the event.

Scope team filming Carly who is sat on a sofa. Carly being filmed.

My hope in…

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Call for media action after news agency’s shorthand ‘discrimination’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


A disabled journalist is calling for action to address widespread discrimination in the media industry after a news agency told him he had not been interviewed for a job because he did not have a qualification in shorthand.

Declan McSweeney has tried several times to apply for posts with Mercury Press in Liverpool – and with other news organisations – and has been told on each occasion that he was not suitable for the role.

But on the last occasion the agency admitted that the experienced journalist would not be considered because he did not have a recognised shorthand qualification.

McSweeney, who has cerebral palsy, has previously worked as a journalist in Ireland and London for more than 20 years, and has his own system of shorthand that he has used successfully throughout his career.

But he was told that this would not be acceptable for the Mercury position.

A senior executive for the agency, which is owned by Birmingham-based Caters News Agency, told him in an email: “To follow up your comment about it not being mandatory to be qualified in shorthand.

 

Source: Call for media action after news agency’s shorthand ‘discrimination’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disabled lawyers face widespread discrimination, say researchers | DisabledGo News and Blog


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

Prevent avoidable deaths by making autism/learning disability training mandatory – Petitions


Petition

Prevent avoidable deaths by making autism/learning disability training mandatory

My son Oliver was only 18 when he died in hospital on 11 Nov 2016. I believe his death could have been prevented if his doctors and nurses had received mandatory training. He had autism and a mild learning disability, and they weren’t trained to understand how to make reasonable adjustments for him.

 

More details

 

Sign this petition

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Government will respond

Government responds to all petitions that get more than 10,000 signatures

Waiting for less than a day for a government response

At 100,000 signatures…

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Share this petition

 

Source: Prevent avoidable deaths by making autism/learning disability training mandatory – Petitions

Reasonable adjustments


With all the legislation which has been enacted previously Equality Act 2010 which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and others you would have expected by now that all organisations should be aware of what is required and be prepared to engage with reasonable adjustments. By why am I not surprised that they are not doing so, is it ignorance (surely not a University) or utter disregard for the welfare of their students. No matter what it is this should not be occurring, especially with the costs incurred to undertake these courses.

You have created a contract to attend the courses within the University and they are breaking this contract by not recognising the reasonable adjustments they should be making.

Their feeble retorts to belittle you are a major concern in their ability to deliver any aspect regarding disability equality.

As course have to be paid for I feel because of their uncaring attitude you will be entitled to a refund of some or all of your course fees, but that will not help you with achieving your educational aims.

The University should be ashamed of their behaviour and should be named and shamed.

A MILLION SICK and DISABLED PEOPLE IN TO WORK says MAY


Well said. on one hand sick and disabled people are being assessed as ‘fit for work’ without any idea if such work is available and if it is will the reasonable adjustments be made by the respective employers. Also are these such employments in the same areas of the country as the persons assessed to be ‘fit for work’, as if they are not how can these sick and disabled persons access these employments, will there be support to do so and if so will the persons be able to access this support on a regular basis.

This, of course, is dependent on the accuracy of these work assessments, as the appeal system reverses many that are not.

Pat's Petition

If you keep doing the same thing you will keep getting the same result. These policies have been tried for eight years now and failed and failed. They will fail again.

Theresa May has announced new initiatives to get a million sick and disabled people into work:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/improving-lives-the-future-of-work-health-and-disability

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-may-unveils-plans-to-get-a-million-more-disabled-people-into-work-a3705731.html

Theresa May has described the aspiration to enable one million sick and disabled people in to work, but Pat’s Petition has noticed a road block in the way.

We celebrate the progress that has already been made in helping sick and disabled people in to work, but highlight that this is limited to people who can compete in the open labour market using ‘reasonable adjustments’ made by the employer. But many sick and disabled people will tell you that employers say their requested adjustments are ‘unreasonable’, and that they are then excluded from employment.

We question how many employers will make…

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