End Disability Hate Speech

Fri,2 June 2023
News Benefits Employment Equality & Rights
Living in a world of ableism, things seem to only be getting more harmful and targeted, especially from places such as the mainstream media. We all have a duty to combat this to make sure Disabled people are not being scapegoated and we recognise the importance of living in a society where we support one another.

Over the past few weeks, we have noticed an increase in incitement of hatred against Disabled people from some sections of our media. For example, on June 1st The Telegraph has promoted a calculator to access how much of our personal taxes goes towards benefits for Disabled people unable to work. It's aim was to villify people who are too sick to work by angering those who are paying taxes that go towards Disability benefits. But these things should never be about 'them versus us' - we all live together in community, with many people having Disabled family or friends, or who may need Disability support in the future. Taxes going towards Disability benefits should never be deemed a 'waste' - in fact, they hardly pay us a pittance to begin with. We must resist these toxic narratives that only lead to further abuse and vilification of Disabled people.

Kamran Mallick, CEO of Disability Rights UK said “ Disability hate speech is totally abhorrent and must stop. We urge The Telegraph to cease their campaign against Disabled people unable to work. We are part of society, we are parents, brothers, sisters and friends. When we can’t work it’s due to our impairments or health conditions, anyone can become Disabled and it can happen anytime in our lives, that’s why we as a decent society support each other.

Disabled people living on benefits or low wages have been the hardest hit by the cost of living crisis, we are the highest users of food banks and often need to use energy to run health and mobility equipment or just keep warm.

We experience cuts in public services such as social care and support for education and we often experience negative attitudes from employers and service providers and inaccessible streets and information.

We have the right to live fulfilling lives, as part of the wider community,  free of ableism and hate speech."