International Day of Disabled People 2022

  • 05 Dec 2022

During UK Disability History Month, the NUJ Disabled Members' Council and NEC disabled members' rep call on employers and commissioners to support disabled workers and freelances. 

UN International Day of Disabled People 2022 (IDDP) fell on Saturday 3 December, during UK Disability History Month, which runs from 16 November to 16 December 2022. 

This year was the 30th anniversary of UN IDDP which has been observed annually since 1992. Alongside Disability History Month, it promotes an understanding of disability issues and mobilises support for the dignity, rights and well-being of disabled people. 

The theme of IDDP 2022 is Transformative solutions for inclusive development: the role of innovation in fuelling an accessible and equitable world.

Natasha Hirst, NEC disabled members’ rep and union vice-president said:

“Disabled workers and freelances are faced with the complexities of higher costs, a pay gap and additional barriers when seeking work. The cost-of-living crisis has made an already precarious and insecure working environment much more unstable. Employers should take measures to create more inclusive workplaces by addressing pay gaps and ensuring that disabled workers receive the reasonable adjustments they need.

“Those commissioning work should seek to ensure diversity in those they commission and that includes disabled freelances. Disabled members are represented throughout the NUJ’s structures and we welcome your feedback on issues affecting you at work and how the union can do more to provide support.”

Ann Galpin, chair of the NUJ Disabled Members’ Council said:

“There are many ways in which the union seeks to support our disabled members, but there is always more than we can do. If your income has dropped, please get in touch with our membership department to discuss options for reduced subs. Non-taxable benefits such as Disability Living Allowance/Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment do not count as income when assessing eligibility for membership or reduced subs.”

Upcoming webinars and training from the NUJ and TUC

NUJ legal training on Long Covid, Thursday 8 December: NUJ reps/officials should attend this session led by Thompsons solicitors to explore disability discrimination, the definition of disability, recent cases on Long Covid, and duties on employers.  Find out more and how to sign up on the NUJ website.  See  TUC media release Monday 5 December 2022.

New entrants into the media & publishing, Thursday 8 December: this lunchtime online session is an opportunity for members in the early stages of their careers to discuss any issues which affect them with NUJ reps and officials from  12:30 to 13.30. The NUJ is committed to diversity and inclusion. It is important to us to ensure that the views of disabled members in early career stages are included. Find out more on the NUJ website.

Disabled workers and the cost-of-living crisis: TUC  webinar on Monday 12 December 6pm-7pm. Disability History Month takes place during a cost-of-living emergency. Millions of people are facing spiralling living costs whilw their wages are being held down. Speakers from Disabled People Against the Cuts, Greater Manchester Disabled People’s Panel and the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee, including NUJ member Ann Galpin, will discuss how the crisis is affecting disabled people, including new research from the TUC on disabled people's pay, and what working people are doing to fight back.  Register for this free event.

Disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments: TUC  webinar on Thursday 15 December 2--3pm.  GMB and Unison speakers will share how their unions are working with employers to prevent disability discrimination at work, including updates for reps on what advice, support, including reasonable adjustments they should expect from their employers when it comes to treating disabled people fairly at work. A speaker from ACAS will discuss how to challenge high levels of disability discrimination at its core. Register for this free event.

Disability and the workplace: the Northern Ireland office of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is holding a webinar over several dates on disability, disability champions and the workplace. Find out more on the NUJ website

Note on language: The UN refers to this day as International Day of Persons with Disabilities. NUJ DMC follows the social model of disability and UK disabled people's movement choice of the term “disabled people” as opposed to “persons with disabilities”. This is because it is the disabling barriers in society that limit opportunities and prevent full and equal participation. More information here

TUC Disability History Month 2022 page has other useful resources 

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