Fighting Unfair Work Capability Assessments

Conference is concerned at the number of deaths following Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit (UC) claimants being found fit for work or where claimants have been denied Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments (PIP). Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) figures show that over 2,300 former claimants of sickness-related benefits […]

Access to Mental Health services for Deaf people

Conference notes that Deaf people are twice as likely as hearing people to experience mental health problems, yet they do not have equal access to services. Mental health services are often inaccessible for Deaf people. For example members have reported that they are referred to counselling services where the counsellor does not sign and therefore […]

Black Disabled People and the Windrush scandal

Conference condemns the Home Office’s politically motivated decision to classify thousands of long-term British residents as illegal immigrants, forcing many of them out of their jobs and homes, and in extreme cases, resulting in detention and deportation. Conference notes that many victims of the Windrush scandal are Black disabled people and the impact of the […]

Educate to celebrate our diverse disabled and LGBT+ families

Conference welcomes the introduction of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) inclusive relationship education in primary schools and relationship and sex education in secondary schools, which forms part of the Department for Education’s statutory guidance, applying to all maintained schools, academies and free schools. Although the mainstream media has focused on the inclusion of […]

Disability Passports in the Workplace

Many of our members are not receiving the reasonable adjustments they need in the workplace environment, whether it be removing physical barriers or providing additional support for a disabled employee to protect against substantial disadvantage. A way to encourage the introduction and continuous support of reasonable adjustments would be a disability passport document. A disability […]

ADHD in the Workplace

Conference notes that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder and in fact, one of the most well-researched neurological disorders. It also can be said to be one of the most misunderstood diagnosis. Having ADHD affects every aspect of the individual’s life. ADHD comes in three forms – Inattentive, Impulsive, Hyperactive (or a […]

Negotiating and Bargaining for Disabled Workers Rights

Conference notes that the Equality Act 2010 gives disabled workers the right to reasonable adjustments and the right not to be discriminated against. However these rights are often only made real when UNISON disabled members and UNISON stewards raise these issues with employers through their local representation and bargaining. For example, the Equality Act Code […]

Legal Recognition of British Sign Language

Conference notes that although the UK government formally recognised British Sign Language (BSL) as a language in its own right in 2003, this did not give full legal status to BSL. Scotland is the only country in the UK to give BSL full legal status and to agree to promote its use. BSL still does […]

Including Non Binary Disabled People in our Self Organised Group

Conference notes that not all UNISON disabled members define themselves as either male or female. A growing number of our members instead define themselves as non-binary. For UNISON disabled members who identify as non-binary, the existing structures and practices within the union may not acknowledge their identity and may create a feeling of exclusion from […]

The Welfare State: A Hostile Environment for Black Disabled People

Conference notes this government’s official policy of creating a ‘hostile environment’ for non-EU migrants who are predominantly Black. This attempt to make life unbearable for undocumented migrants manifests itself in a growing network of immigration controls across society, including immigration checks to access public services, welfare benefits, healthcare and housing. The Windrush scandal has demonstrated […]

Black Disabled Workers and the Disciplinary Process

Conference notes that Black Disabled workers are disproportionately targeted when it comes to disciplinary processes, which is often linked to racism and discrimination as well as a lack of understanding and support for the barriers faced by disabled people, including those with non-visible/non-apparent disabilities. Black disabled people are also over-represented when it comes to capability […]

Breaking down barriers for Neurodiverse Women

Conference notes that “neurodiversity” is a relatively new term that refers to people who have dyslexia, autism, ADHD, dyspraxia or other related conditions that may also stem from a neurological impairment. People with these conditions have a wide range of characteristics but may also share some common features in terms of how they learn and […]

Disabled women workers’ pay gap and professional development

Conference welcomes the recent gender pay investigation, which exposed the gender pay gaps of large companies across the UK. Conference notes that there is no equivalent disability pay investigation, however the Equality and Human Rights Commission noted in its 2017 report that the overall ‘disability pay gap’ is 13.6%. This would suggest that where women […]

Ensuring safe and qualified interpreting services for Deaf people accessing public services

Conference notes that British Sign Language interpreters are regulated by the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind people (NRCPD). They hold registers of interpreters for deafblind people, lipspeakers, notetakers, sign language interpreters, sign language translators and speech to text reporters. Conference supports a registration system as a way of ensuring interpreters […]

Tackling the disability employment gap: Recruiting and retaining Deaf workers

Conference notes the recent House of Commons Library report on the Disability Employment gap which highlights that just 49% of disabled people between 16 and 64 years old are in employment, compared to over 80% for non disabled people. The disability employment gap therefore stands at over 31%. For Deaf people in particular, finding and […]