I suspect that many of you may not be aware that today is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is a UN initiative that has been observed since 1992.
The question, is why 27 years on is this still a subject that is not widely discussed. Thinking about it this morning it seems to me there are many reasons and below I have given two of the most obvious.
2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, which made it unlawful to discriminate against disabled persons in connection with, amongst other things, employment. How far have we come since then in ensuring access to the (in my case, legal) workplace, and what more needs to be done to ensure that our offices are not diversish, but truly diverse.
At the end of the inquest in 2014 into the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah, the coroner concluded that this nine year old girl suffered an asthma attack, followed by a seizure, and died after unsuccessful resuscitation. This is one possible answer to the question of how Ella died. However, there is clearly a bigger question which needs to be answered.
This time last year I wrote about why language matters and how as an LGBTQ ally it was my duty to speak up. What I’ve been thinking about this year in the run up to Pride 2019 is how much the ability to speak openly and freely is itself an important privilege.