May to apologise to Disabled people
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I have a mild disability. I do fine. But I see how the disabled community have been treated and think it is disgraceful.
Disabled people have many challenges. It takes a lot of inner-strength to come to terms with, and accept, you have a disability and to just get on with life. That is even before dealing with the unique day to day challenges that each disability presents. All that is tough enough.
But it doesn't help when the state cuts taxes at the top in the same breath as proposing cuts to support to disabled people for things we need, just to have a reasonable quality of life. It makes Disabled people feel they are not valued.
On top of that, going from having lifetime awards, to now having frequent assessments, with demeaning questions like "why haven't you committed suicide?" is awful and makes people feel like they are not trusted to be honest. Can you imagine how all this must affect people's mental health?
Things must change.
Remember, it was the Tory John Major who introduced Disability Living Allowance. A politician could not take a more progressive, inclusive action than that. It made me feel valued. It will be a long way back for politicians to recreate that.
If Theresa May truly wants to work for the good of all, then starting again with disabled people must be a priority. There is lots to do, but the first step is to say I am sorry.
Sorry that we (the government) didn't really think about how cuts would really affect disabled. Sorry that we didn't think how it would affect self-esteem. Sorry, we got it wrong.
It is just a start, but only by apologising can any sort of trust in politicians start to be rebuilt.
Remember, disability can strike at any moment. A fall, an infection, a disease, a car crash, an assault. You'd hope society would support you, practically and with moral support.
So sign this petition. Send a message to the Tories that society cares and they should too. And as importantly, it will send a message to the disabled community that society cares. How good will that be for self-esteem ?
Now actions speak louder than words. And these will only be words. But we have to start somewhere.
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