Letter: Civil rights blocked

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The Independent Online
Sir: Today, the Civil Rights (Disabled Persons) Bill was blocked in the Commons. Once again, the Government has failed to address the needs of 6.5 million British people who are second-class citizens simply because they have a disability.

The Government's own figures show that: two-thirds of disabled people live below the poverty line; more than 60 per cent of disabled people of working age are neither in work nor training; there has been a 92 per cent rise in homelessness among physically disabled people compared with a 57 per cent rise in all types of households. The Spastics Society's own research shows many more equally shocking examples of discrimination.

If the words 'women' or 'black people' were substituted for 'disabled' in the above paragraph, there would be an outcry. Yet it is still considered acceptable to discriminate against somebody purely on the grounds that they have a disability.

We at the Spastics Society are getting impatient. It's time to stop feeling sorry for disabled people; its time to recognise their rights.

Yours faithfully,

ANTHONY HEWSON,

Chairman, The Spastics Society

London, W1

26 February

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