25 years of the DDA

I wouldn’t be much of a disability rights campaigner or commentator if I didn’t direct everyone here. Yesterday was a very auspicious day: Twenty-five years since the signing of the Disability Discrimination act. A quarter of a century since a group of Disabled people took to the streets of London, handcuffed theirselves to busses, and began the fight for the same basic rights everyone else naturally enjoys. Thanks to that Act, I, as a disabled man and powerchair user, can now live independently in London. I doubt many outside the disabled community would realise the profundity of the difference that act made to lives like mine. Every time I get on a bus or tube train, I think about the activists shown in this BBC news clip made twenty-five years ago. Yet, as noted in the video, there is still quite a way to go until equality is achieved: nowhere near all the tube stations are accessible for one, and that is just the tip of a very large iceberg, so it’s now up to guys like me to continue the pioneering activism began by these disability heroes.

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