Progress towards real equality for disabled people over the past twenty years is insufficient and ‘littered with missed opportunities and failures’ according to a new publication from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The study highlighted that despite significant progress in the laws protecting disabled people’s rights, they are still not being treated as equal citizens and continue to be denied the opportunities and outcomes non-disabled people take for granted.
The report uncovered several ‘significant inequalities’ in Scotland, including
- Disabled pupils have much lower attainment rates and are more likely to be permanently or temporarily excluded
- Disabled Scots are two and a half times more likely to be unemployed than non-disabled people
- On average, disabled people in Scotland earn £1.10 per hour less than non-disabled people
- The amount of wheelchair-adapted local authority housing has decreased
Alastair Pringle, Director of the EHRC in Scotland, said the report brought the disadvantages that Scottish disabled people faced into “sharp focus” and raises “important issues about the extent to which disabled people are seen and treated as equal citizens.”
‘We have a large pool of skilled and talented people who are unable to fully contribute to Scottish society – economically, socially or civically – because of avoidable barriers.”
“This isn’t just a problem for disabled people, it’s a problem for all Scots. We need to harness this untapped potential.”