On the final day of protests against government contracted ATOS Healthcare and the Department of Work and Pensions, many people have come together to declare their unhappiness at the current proposals around benefits for the disabled.
People who are completely anti-cuts, fighting for their own or someone else's rights as a disabled person, or demonstrating 'solidarity' alongside others, have gathered to demonstrate their growing unhappiness at the treatment of disabled people.
The Paraolympics provides a strong platform for demonstrating a need to readdress proposed government cuts to disability benefits as well as a review of the current system employed by ATOS in measuring fitness to work.
The flip side of the paraolympics, a festival of determination, heroic and athletic feats, is the growing negative representation of disabled people in Britain.
Around two thirds of disabled people have been subjected to abuse, including physical attacks and name calling, by complete strangers. In fact, two thirds of adults admit actively avoiding disabled people, 40% admitted to viewing them as a burden of them society and a third had ill feeling towards them for the perceived extra support given to disabled people.
Even more disturbingly, it is a situation which is not improving either. In fact, a recent survey revealed that disability hate crime has risen by 75% over the past two years.
This has not been helped by consistent inaccurate portrayals of disabled people in the media and by politicians. Editorials such as:
"Hundreds of thousands of scroungers in the UK are robbing hard-working Sun readers of their cash. They cannot be bothered to find a job or they claim to be sick when they are perfectly capable of work because they prefer to sit at home watching widescreen TVs - paid for by YOU."
This, and memorable tabloid headlines including the entirely bogus claim that "three quarters of disabled people are fit to work" (the actual fit for work figure was 29.6%), alongside derrogotary language labeling disabled people "scroungers" and "cheats" is creating a horrendous legacy for anyone who has "an impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities".
But aside from the difficulties of facing abuse from complete strangers merely being out in public, sick and disabled people struggle in many other ways as well.
When it comes to something as seemingly simple as getting around, disabled people are still heavily restricted by a society which, despite equality legislation, has failed to improve accessibility for disabled people.
It is completely unacceptable that that, in London, provision for disabled people remains woefully inadequate. While several underground stations now have step free access to the platforms, no more than a handful have step free access from the platform to tube carriages themselves.
Above ground, the situation is little better with most bus stops being at a different level to the bus doors and with many disabled people recounting shocking stories about bus drivers driving off at the sight of them and of cab drivers refusing to transport them.
If this is the situation in the most disabled accessible city in the country, you can easily imagine for yourself how bad the situation is outside of London, particularly in rural areas.
But the picture only gets worse for disabled people. Nearly a quarter of disabled people have no qualifications, compared to less than 1 in 10 able bodied people. And of the 1.3 million disabled job seekers, unemployment stands at nearly 50%, compared to about 20% for able bodied job seekers.
Furthermore, roughly a third of disabled people are living in poverty - often because of the greatly increased living costs that sickness and disability cause.
Benefits such as Disability Living Allowance are meant to help with this but the government has passed reforms which mean the money spent on DLA will be reduced by 2015/16 by 20% compared to what it was in 2009/10, despite the fact that the fraud rate for DLA being just 0.5%.
While it costs three times more to raise a disabled child as an able-bodied one, the coalition government is cutting children's disability benefits for new claimants to the tune of £1,400 a year.
And changes to Employment Support Allowance, which supports those who's sickness or disability prevents them from working, are set to force hundreds of thousands onto an income related version of the benefit which cuts off all support when household income rises above as little as £7,500 a year, meaning that many more disabled people will be forced to be almost entirely dependent on their partners.
When you look at all this, you begin to understand why so many people are demonstrating against the Department of Work and Pensions. In short, sick and disabled people still lack anything approaching full equality, that they are still side-lined and that they are still unable to enjoy the full independence and equal citizenship which pretty much everyone else is able to take for granted.
I myself am also taking positive action. Working with Liberal Democrat Colleague George Potter, we are challenging the Liberal Democrats to review the current approach to disabled people.
Not only through benefits, but also to attempt to tackle the systemic attitudes that underpin comments like Iain Duncan-Smith MP who considered that disabled workers at Remploy factories just sat around all day "making coffee".
As a party, the Liberal Democrats are committed intellectually to equality and inclusion for disabled people.
This is why I will be debating the Equal Citizenship motion at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton this September, thanks to the support of Liberal Democrats from constituencies up and down the country.
At the heart of the motion is one crucial concept: empowering and enabling sick and disabled people to finally have equal citizenship, removing barriers to disability equality, confronting prejudice head on and tackling policies which force them to be dependent on others - particularly some of the more retrograde Tory policies implemented by this government.
By challenging the party to address the wide reaching issues within the current approach to disability, we hope to achieve a full independent review of the Welfare Reform Act, more defined public consultation on PIP, DLA and ESA, and expand schemes such as Access to Work.
If we achieve this, perhaps we can finally start to turn around attitudes in society and build equal citizenship for millions of our fellow citizens - just as we did and are still doing for sexual, racial and gender equality.
We are seeking full support for the Equal Citizenship Motion - both in the Liberal Democrats and externally. If you can assist in any way, or would like to pledge support to this action, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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