The UK disability organisation SCOPE works to gain equal rights for disabled people. Their current campaign ‘Time to Get Equal’ wants to challenge disability discrimination, which they call ‘disablism’. On the 15th June, I visited a fun-day in Gillingham, Dorset, organised to highlight the campaign:
Sue Brown, service manager for Thorngrove Garden Centre and Mulberry Court, Gillingham, said: “I think equality for disabled people is a relevant problem, its real and SCOPE are championing the cause really because they want equality for all."
Scopes aim to ‘plant the seeds of change’ focuses on ending discrimination and getting more service users out into the community.
“The idea behind it is that we are looking at more ways of finding work for the service users that are here so that they will progress and learn the skills of horticulture and then they’ll take those skills hopefully to paid employment in the local town or elsewhere.”
Richard Eaton, service user said: “I wouldn’t say that there is any real particular answer on making people see what’s the right way to help and what’s not the right way to help, because people have different disabilities and different learning difficulties."
"I suppose it all depends on the individual at the end of the day."
"I can remember back in the 90’s I was here; I had a customer come up to me at the till at the shop and this guy goes: ‘You don’t look like you have much wrong with you…What are you here for? What you doing here?’…and all I said is that I don’t think you should ask that question really."
"I don’t think you need to be disabled necessarily to understand disabled people.”
Mrs Brown said: “Some people have been brought up not understanding that these guys are no different than anyone else; and going up and having a chat to them, they’ve actually got a really good history of knowledge.”