Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A new underclass in the UK?

Sadly the answer to the above question is yes, what is debated is whether it is new or not, but a new report out by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. This report suggests that there are fewer people poor in the uk than ever before.

UK poor fall to lowest since 1987

I sincerely hope that is true, but what the report shows is that the disabled in all forms of disability are the new underclass. The foundation was surprised by this, and it affected all disabled people regardless of how well educated they are. When I first read this, I was surprised as well, but then looking back on my recent experience I have had dealing with governmental bodies, looking for a job, just trying to live life as such, and I can recall numerous examples of such a situation.

For example the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), the attitude of the staff in many of the jobcentre plus places is awful, quite simply awful. They have no understanding of deafness, they constantly have the disabled toilets out of action, so any poor wheelchair bound person isn’t able to go to the toilet, if they need to. They have also in their amazing wisdom decided now that if you suffer the misfortune of becoming unemployed, you have to call up a line to get assigned a reference and then they will decide to then consider your case. Mmm, did someone forget to tell them that deaf people find using a phone very difficult, especially when someone has a strong accent, and guess where a lot of the call centres are, that is right in locations where peoples accent are very thick and heavy, meaning that likes of myself struggle to understand a damn word being said.

I also have suffered the situation with the NHS lack of funding, getting a hearing aid is very difficult to do with cutbacks, and it is made all the worse, by the fact that a lot of staff aren’t able to give hearing aids that are of use, which brings me to a sideline point, just what the hell are the RNID doing with this -

Millions urged to check hearing

Have they not been reading about all the cutbacks in the NHS, especially in audiology departments? While I applaud their efforts to raise awareness of people not hearing properly, I think maybe they should be sure that the NHS actually has sufficient funding to cope. What are they going to do with the adverts – Add a disclaimer at the end that says, “We aren’t responsible for the fact that your local NHS audiologist isn’t going to be available every day, you can only go 2 half days a week – Good luck”

To top it all off, there are a lot of employers out there that don’t want disabled people working for them. I know this to my own, when I was looking for work previously. In my case, wearing gold ear moulds possibly didn’t help matters, but it shouldn’t and doesn’t make a difference to my abilities, but try telling that to employers. I have had the misfortune in the past where the interview has been brought to an abrupt end, just for what seems to be no reason, and when you get feedback, you know full well there is no good reason, other than they clocked my hearing aids and all of the sudden I am not good enough, despite minutes earlier I was good enough. You can tell it in the manner of questioning, as well as their body language.

I am not optimistic that things are going to change anytime soon. All of the discrimination boards are being merged into a single one, which I am sure is going to be for cutbacks, and it isn’t as if the discrimination acts are tough enough as it is, especially as this government is exempt from its own laws, mmm, to me that doesn’t inspire confidence if they aren’t tied to it as well.
Plus as it is rising not falling, it can only get worse, not better. The inequalities in the UK for the disabled are getting worse and with the government push on the IB (Incapacity Benefit), you can see it get even worse. One has to think that things are going along the lines of putting disabled people into institutions which happened even after WW2, so one has to think the likes of this government are doing their level best to ensure that disabled people are without a voice.

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