Disability is a niche issue!


Disability is a niche issue!

Now, I personally don’t know what disability I’m going to end my life with but I do of course have a few to choose from. Including my deteriorating eyesight, my increasingly poor hearing. My early onset arthritis, complications from my two back operations. Or perhaps something else I am not aware of yet.  It might not be what kills me but one thing is certain. At the time of my death I will have been living with a disability for a period of time before I pass away.

Oh, and news flash, so will you!

The truth is that very nearly 100% of all people will be disabled in some way before they die. It kind of knocks the wind out of you doesn’t it? But, it is this realisation that must surely help us all realise that disability and the challenges connected to it are hardly a niche issue.

Quite rightly we have been fighting all types of inequality for some time. And just last week I was lucky to attend the annual Parliamentary Business Conference at the Scottish Parliament this year focussing on Equality and Sustainability.  The first question to the First Minister rung out and it concerned gender equality.

It’s hardly surprising of course as with 50% of our population being female this is a massive issue, especially considering the historic bias we have in the western world. I stood and pointed out what was obvious to me as the question was asked of the First Minister. That at least 50% of the room was female and that perhaps there might be other areas of equality and inclusion that were also worthy of consideration.

Hidden Disabilities

I sat down again and allowed the First Minister to give me a standard answer about the importance of diversity and inclusion. But I couldn’t help but make a mental note of how few if any visibly disabled people we were in the chamber. Ok, so 75% of disabled people have hidden disabilities. But I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that I had no reason to believe they were represented at all. Not least as I was the only person to raise the issue.

I’m all for equality and we should never look at the matter as an “us and them”. We are all in this together. So it’s about time we talked about equality in terms of more than one demographic? Especially as one of those minority niche groups is going to include pretty much ALL of us?


          .gavin neate.

Founder & CEO Neatebox.

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