Know your Rights, Use your Rights, Live your Rights!
This booklet was first published in 2013 as part of Disability Wales’ 2012-2015 core work programme. This latest version includes information about legislation introduced since 2013 including the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.
During 2020 Disability Wales surveyed Disabled People in Wales. The results show that 68% of the 120 respondents did not feel that their rights were being adequately enforced, and 35% did not feel their rights were being enforced at all. Worryingly, 76% of respondents were not confident that their rights would improve over the next five years and 43% of these people didn’t think that their rights would improve at all.
The aim of this resource is to equip members with knowledge and information about disabled people’s rights and how they can use them to promote equality and eliminate discrimination and harassment in their communities. A further aim is to support and empower disabled people at a particularly challenging time, given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihoods of so many.
The revision of this resource is a key element of DW’s response to the pandemic and in support of the recovery and a more inclusive future. As well as providing information about legislation, it outlines several case studies whereby disabled people and their organisations have successfully argued their rights under the Equality Act (2010), the Public Sector Equality Duties and the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. The outcome of this has been to influence the planning and delivery of national or local policies or to challenge decisions which threatened to undermine disabled people’s equality and right to independent living.
DW recognises how vital it is that disabled people understand our intrinsic human rights and value ourselves for who we are.
Strengthening disabled people’s perception about ourselves is an important means of challenging belief systems that we are powerless especially in the face of institutionalised discrimination and individualised harassment.
Our hope therefore is that this resource will act as a source of inspiration and affirmation of what can be achieved when disabled people act together, fully equipped with the tools for change.
When Disability Wales wrote this pack, it decided to concentrate on the rights of Disabled People under various equality laws. These laws are very important and help to make sure that Disabled People can argue for their rights. However, in many legal cases about the rights of Disabled People, other laws are used too. These laws are explained elsewhere and are not covered in detail in this pack.