Disability

The NEU is committed to challenging discrimination against disabled people and to campaigning for disability rights for its members and students. We work to influence policies at school, local and national levels relating to both working conditions and rights for our members and for the young people we work with. We work with other unions and organisations who share our aims.

TH&C district is keen to increase the involvement and activity of disabled members in the work of the Union. If you would like to be more involved or require some advice or information, please contact us via email alex.kenny@exec.neu.org.uk

You can also contact the NEU Advice Line 0345 811 8111 or further contact details can be found here

TH&C District Equalities Officer: Neptali Palmer

NEU National Executive Member for Disability:

Email: coleen.johnson@exec.neu.org.uk

More Information and resources on disability issues

Advice on discrimination

Resources to use in schools

World of Inclusion resources

Disability History Month

NUT Disabled Teachers’ Conference

This conference is held annually for NUT members identifying as disabled. The Conference plays an integral role in ensuring that the Union’s work is in the interest of its disabled members and in developing education policy addressing disability issues. The Conference is empowered to submit a motion for NUT Annual conference.

If you are interested in attending this conference, please email secretary@east-london.nut.org.uk

National Executive Representative for Disabled Members: Coleen Johnson coleen.johnson@exec.neu.org.uk

Trade Unions & the Social Model of Disability

Trade unions have played a big part in the progress made in improving the lives of Britain’s eleven million disabled people, particularly in the area of employment, until that progress was halted by the policies of the Coalition government that took office in 2010. Trade unions have since played an important part in resisting the impact of those policies.

In 2008, following a recommendation of the TUC Disability conference, the TUC published guidance for unions on why it was important that they base their policies, practices and actions on the social model of disability, in contrast to the medical model which was then – and remains – dominant in society.
The attacks on the lives and living standards of disabled people and the associated propaganda to justify them that have been carried out by the Coalition government have reinforced prejudice and discrimination against disabled people. This makes it even more important that the social model – in which the disability is understood to be the result of barriers preventing the inclusion of people with impairments, and not the impairment itself – is used as the foundation for unions’ work in this area. This is not a philosophical distinction – it has real significance in society, in the workplace and in the way that
unions work.
There are many reasons for building on the progress unions have already made: the legal framework has changed with the ratification by the UK of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), itself based on the social model; the Equality Act 2010 has replaced the previous legislation (the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)); many unions have strengthened their commitment to engage with their disabled members; and trade unions have been champions of the resistance against government attempts to take disabled people back into the Dark Ages.