So as the title of this blog post suggests, today is International Day for Persons With Disabilities. This day first began in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly.
This day aims to promote the rights and wellbeing of disabled people is all parts of society and to increase awareness of the challenges disabled people all over the world face in many different aspects including political, social, economic and culture.
When I was recently scrolling through the BBC's news app I saw a business article stating that the Office for National Statistics had found that last year the median pay for disabled employee was £10.63 an hour whilst non-disabled employed earnings were £12.11 (you can read the article here). How is this fair especially when you have you factor in the extra costs many disabled people face for things like utility bills, equipment, care, therapies, insurance and more. The disability charity Scope has found that on average disabled people face extra costs of £583 a month and 1 in 5 disabled people extra costs of more than £1000 a month. Along with these finding Scope have found that on average a disabled person's extra costs are equivalent to around half of their income (exculding housing costs). Along with this findings for a disable person money doesn't go as far and on average £100 for a non-disabled person is equivalent to just £68 for someone with a disability. (Scope's 'Extra Costs' Campagn)
How is all this fair?
As well as lower pay and extra costs for disabled there is also the lack of access whether this be physically such as getting into buildings or lack of suitable toilet facilities or social barriers like how many subtitled cinema screenings aren't at reasonable times. There's also the visibility of disabled people, such as using disabled actors for disabled parts in TV and film or in the modelling industry - far too often I see older people being used as models for equipment and aids and it puts me off a times as I think 'I'm too young to be needing this'.
Yes the world has come a long way in terms of the social model of disability (read my blog post on the medical and social model of disability here), but there is still a long way to go.