The Social Model of Disability

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2005 National Disabled Members' Conference
8 June 2005
Carried as Amended

Many UNISON disabled members that could potentially disadvantage them in the workplace do not identify their individual access requirements. The Disability Discrimination Act definition of a disabled person has recently been extended to define people with MS, HIV and cancer as disabled from a point of diagnosis. We welcome this legislative change as a signal to the attitudinal barriers that some disabled people face. Conference recognises thatthere are other disabled people for whom negative attitudes to personal matters cretae further barriers. Such attitudinal barriers may deter people from seeking information and support they need for equality of opportunity. This creates indirect discrimination and implicit stigma which may deter people from seeking the information and support to which they are entitled. This also makes it difficult to obtain accurate information from members about important workplace issues that could influence UNISON’s policies and campaigns.

Therefore, Conference instructs the National Disabled Members’ Committee to call on the National Executive Council to campaign for a definition of disability within the Disability Discrimination Act that is consistent with the social model of disability as adopted by UNISON and to implement a disability equality campaign by May 2006 and provide a progress report to the 2006 National Disabled Members’ Conference.