Committee visits disability support organisation Real, in Tower Hamlets
17 September 2015
The House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability met with disability support organisation Real, as part of its investigation into how well the Equality Act 2010 is working for disabled people.
Real, which is a user-led support organisation for disabled people based in Tower Hamlets, invited members of the Lords Committee to their offices on Tuesday 15 September.
Six members of the Lords Committee heard from a variety of Real members about the realities of day to day life with disabilities.
Baroness Deech, Chairman of the Committee
"For the Committee to get out and speak to disabled people is invaluable for our investigation. We heard some frank views on the Equality Act 2010, both good and bad, and they have given us a great deal of food for thought, which will inform our eventual findings.
"We appreciate all the hard work by everyone at Real, and I'd like to thank them again. Our final report will benefit enormously from all their efforts."
Mike Smith, Chief Executive of Real
"Real, as a user-led organisation of disabled people, is all about getting the collective voice of disabled people heard and making change happen to ensure disabled people have equal opportunities, choices and chances in life. There is a natural synergy between our objectives and the aims of the Committee. Today we heard some amazing stories of day-to-day struggles disabled people experience trying to achieve equality.
"Although direct discrimination is less common than 20 years ago when the DDA was first introduced, too often people were reporting unintentional indirect discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments, poor understanding and awareness, and a lack of ability to enforce their rights. Many still didn't know what their rights were or how to find out more.
"There was an incredible energy in the room and we are grateful to have been given the opportunity to help the Committee understand the reality of life for many disabled people."
Faiz Rehman, a member of Real
"I felt it was a good event, and I found it really encouraging that the Lords Committee have made this connection to our organisation. I personally think the Equality Act is ambiguous and not as concise as the previous Disability Discrimination Act, and I am glad that the Committee plan on producing a report on the new legislation."
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