The use of verbal abuse as a form of bullying of disabled children and young people is widespread. This has a significant negative impact on self-esteem and achievement. To challenge it requires a consistent wholeschool approach involving staff, pupils, parents and carers. All members of the school community need to be equipped to always challenge and explain why such language is unacceptable.
Trade unions played a big part in the progress made in improving the lives of Britain’s eleven million disabled people, particularly in the area of employment, until that progress was halted by the policies of the Coalition government that took office in 2010. Trade unions have since played an important part in resisting the impact of those policies.
The NUT is fully committed to inclusive education and to exploring and sharing the factors that support and enable teachers to develop inclusion and meet the needs of disabled teachers as well as children and young people with SEN. The following resources are useful for schools to refer to:
6 films of workshops on challenging disablist bullying in six schools and supporting materials available here.
Films of Incluision Working in 2015 on the World of Inclusion website. Two are up Wroxham and Emersons Green Primary Schools which will soon be joined by Priestnall Secondary. Click here.
This document provides comprehensive guidance on issues affecting teachers in need of reasonable adjustments. It addresses complex issues, such as the legal right to reasonable adjustments and the role of GPs and occupational health, in an easy to read format.
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) helps over 18,000 severely disabled people to live independent lives in the community rather than in residential care. The government plans to close the fund by June 2015. Here are some actions you can take to call on the government to re-think their decision:
UKDHM formally takes place between 22nd November and 22nd December each year, though many events and activities take place outside this time slot. It is supported by more than 100 organisations, including the NUT.
The purpose of UK Disability History Month is:-
To raise awareness of the unequal position of disabled people in society and to advocate disability equality
To develop an understanding of the historical roots of this inequality
To highlight the significance of disabled people’s struggles for equality and inclusion and the ‘social model’ of disability.
Throughout Disability History Month it will be important to recognise that disabled people have multiple identities, are sometimes members of other groups subjected to discriminatory practice, and to ensure that the diverse nature of disabled people is recognised in terms of the range and types of impairment that are included e.g. Neuro-diverse, mental health issues, learning difficulty, physical, invisible and sensory impairments.
Key foci of the month are:
Advocating equality for disabled people
Promoting disability equality and inclusion -‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’
Examining the roots of ‘Disabilism’- negative attitudes, harassment and hate crime
Celebrating disabled people’s history - struggles for rights, equality and inclusion
Challenging and exposing the unequal position of disabled people in our society
The Cultural and Artistic portrayal of disabled people
Highlighting examples of good disability equality.
UK Disability History month (UKDHM) formally takes place between 22 November and 22 December each year, though many events and activities take place outside this time slot. It is supported by more than 100 organisations, including the NUT, and celebrates the lives and achievements of disabled people. Schools are encouraged to hold awareness raising activities about disability during the month of December.
Are you an NUT member? Do you consider yourself to be disabled? Would
you like to join our growing network of disabled teachers and be put in
touch with other disabled teachers nationally and in your region, to
share experiences and provide support for each other?