02 December 2022

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Tomorrow, 3rd of December, marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is an annual observance by the United Nations to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities.

The theme for this year is “Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”. Disability inclusion is crucial when it comes to upholding rights and it is essential to raise awareness of inaccessibility issues and barriers faced by people with disabilities. In the UK, one in five individuals of working age are disabled or have a long-term health condition, which is considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

LSA is working to represent disabled people in Scotland by acknowledging the lack of legal provision through our Disability and Social Justice Project, funded by the Scottish Government Equality and Human Rights Fund. Specialist services such as ours are integral to upholding the rights of people with disabilities and we are proud to address unmet legal need in this area. This project allows us the opportunity to challenge the injustice and discrimination that is prevalent in our society by providing individual representation and advice. We also look for ways to challenge policy and practice issues.

As we return to life as normal following the Covid-19 pandemic, there has never been a more important time to ensure that our communities meet the accessibility needs for people with disabilities.

The following examples show there is still much to do:

Our client is a blind man who sought our assistance after he was not provided with suitable assistive technology when told to work from home during lockdown. We referred him onto our employment solicitor at LSA who negotiated a settlement with his employer through Judicial Mediation. An assurance that assistive technology would be provided was made.

We further represented our client when a raceday provider refused to accommodate him in their high performance cars due to his visual impairment. Following negotiations, we were able to get the company to change their policy so that he was able to have his driving experience.

It is clear that there are still many barriers in place for people with disabilities and at LSA we remain committed to challenging inequality and contributing to work towards an accessible and equitable world. We are undertaking research into the experiences of people with hidden disabilities in accessing justice. If you have a hidden disability and would like to share your experiences, the survey and an easy read version can be found here. If you would like to read about the initial responses to our survey please click here.

Caroline Love
Communications Officer