Learning disabilities and discrimination.
Discrimination towards people with learning disabilities is a widespread issue in the UK. From victim’s experiencing discrimination at work to children facing it within school. Recent cases of people taking their discrimination case to court caused many people to realise that it is still a very apparent issue in today’s society and culture.
One significant case that made people see the apartness of discrimination still affecting people took place in February of this year a when Starbucks worker Meret Kumulchew won a case against the company Starbucks after they placed a claim against her. The claim was over the fact that she got the temperature of the water and fridges wrong. However, Ms Kumulchew has dyslexia more specifically dyscalculia meaning she has difficulty in understanding numbers and their orders. Giving her a reason for her incorrect recording. The case was won by Ms Kumulchew when the court made the decision that Starbucks was discriminating against her dyslexia.
This case brought many people to realise that discrimination towards learning disabilities is unfortunately still happening in today’s world. With many places of work not having any ways to help an employee with a learning disability in the workplace. In fact, research found that people with learning disabilities are more likely to be attacked at the workplace, with 21.2% of people with learning disabilities or mental illness saying they have been physically attacked at work.
Finding out this new information lead me to want to find out the public opinion based on the views about discrimination towards people with learning disabilities.
What is your opinion on how people with learning disabilities are treated in the workplace?
Anna, 50 , London:
“I think that people with learning disabilities are treated a lot better now than in the past, they were treated quite badly. The respect for them has increased a lot and they defiantly deserve to be treated to the same policy as everyone else”
Holly 19, Canterbury:
“It depends where, because it some places they are treated as a normal worker and then you can get other places that take advantage of their disability’s”
Nicola, 22, Canterbury:
“There may still be a stigma around it, I just think it comes down to a decent human being”
What Do you feel could be changed to help people with learning disabilities be made in the workplace and what ?
Greg, 47, Essex:
“They are treated are lot better than they used to be, because there’s lots of regulations and policy’s put in place to ensure that their safety and well-being and their adaptability to the environment is better. Genuinely it’s a lot better than it was, but we should always be looking to improve it.”
Anna, 50, London:
“Maybe there should be policy’s put in place were people with disabilities are accepted more.”
You can see that the answers to first question are all similar. The agreed that all has improved in terms of how people with learning disability’s are treated in the workplace, compared to when there were no discrimination acts in place to stop it from occurring. However some answers did agree that there is still a stigma around how society see’s some one with learning disability’s. The next questioned I asked referred to if they thought changes in the workplace are necessary both answers agreed they are treated a lot better, but there is always room for improvement when it comes to how others are treated.
After finding out public opinion, I wanted more opinions on what people thought, and so I created an online survey for people to complete. Overall I got twenty response, the answers very much varied for some of the questions. The survey did allow me to ask more questions and get more answers helping me find an overall idea of public opinion. One particular question I asked on the survey surprised me with the responses given:
Are you aware that in 2010 only 6.6% of adults with learning disabilities got the same pay as someone with no disabilities?
The response came back with 80% saying no but a surprising 20% saying that they were in fact aware of this fact. Proving that most of the public did not know that there was a pay gap over someone’s ability to work due to their disability. I asked this question because asking the public facts meant I could get an understanding of how much or little the public is aware of when it comes to discrimination.
Along with the other nine questions asked the end result was that the public whom answered thought that more improvement is needed to help those with learning disabilities in the workplace and that there needs to be an end to the stigma around those with a disability.
Doing my own research and finding public opinion, not only help me see and understand how much discrimination there is towards those with learning disability’s. But also that more awareness needs to be made over this particular discrimination. With this discrimination being more in the work place and the pay gap, it could easily be changed if the right people created the needs be to make these changes. In this day and age and society there should be no wage gap no matter who you are or what you have.
- Clive Coleman, (2016), Starbucks employee wins dyslexia discrimination case, available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35521061, accessed: 22nd November 2016
- Neil Thomas, (2016), Meseret Kumulchew VS Starbucks, available at: http://www.thomasmansfield.com/blog/posts/meseret-kumulchew-vs-starbucks accessed: 22nd November 2016
- Disabled employees more likely to be attacked and bullied at work, research finds, (2013), available at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-disabled-employees-bullied.html , accessed: 29th November 2016
- Getting people with mental health issues and learning disabilities into employment, available at: http://www.sanctuaryhealth.com/blog/getting-people-with-mental-health-issues-and-learning-disabilities-into-employment-42123116748 , accessed: 29th November 2016