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Tanni’s View


Baroness


Grey-Thompson DBE writes for Ability Needs


O


N 21ST APRIL THIS YEAR the Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening confirmed that she was


appointing Kevin, Lord Shinkwin as a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. I have known Kevin for quite a few years, first when we sat on the National Disability Council and then latterly when he joined the House of Lords as a Conservative Peer. Back when the Disability Discrimination Act


came out, I gave an interview where I said that I would prefer disability legislation to be wrapped up in more general equality legislation. Now that we have it, I think I might have preferred it the way that it was, although a bit stronger. I spend a lot of time thinking about this. Coming from the film ‘Life of Brian’ where the crowd declares ‘We are all individuals’ I feel quite strongly about this.


20


There are things that bind us together and things that highlight our differences. It may be that disability means that many of us can be linked, but within that there are many, many differences, not just through how the impairment affects us, but our lived experience. One particular disabled person may have a closer bond to someone with a different protected characteristic, and actually that makes it all a bit complicated. Now it appears that the position of disability


commissioner on the EHRC may not now exist but it might be a more generic role of a commissioner who is disabled. There are those who argue that the disability commissioner never existed as such, but a disabled person who was a commissioner chaired the Disability Committee (which as I understand it no longer exists). All a bit complicated and whether it is the committee and the commissioner, or just the specific role of


Ability Needs Magazine


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