The government's consultation on transport accessibility has extended its deadline to Wednesday 22 November. Anyone can submit their views.
'Neurodiversity' means that different people have different brain wiring. Unfortunately, those with a minority brain wiring - such as dyslexic, autistic and dyspraxic people - face discrimination at work and in wider society.
RMT's Disabled Members' Advisory Committee met for the second time on Wednesday 13 September.
1. Committee membership
We welcomed new members to the Committee, and completed the election of our Liaison (conference arrangements) Committee.
2. Guest speaker: Transport for All
At this year's RMT AGM, I spoke in favour of a resolution from the union's Disabled Members' Conference calling on the union to adopt the social model of disability. The resolution was passed unanimously. This is what I said.
Statement by the TUC Disabled Workers' Committee to TUC Disabled Workers' Conference, 18 May 2017:
There will be a general election on Thursday 8 June. Whatever the circumstances under which it was called, it is an opportunity for voters to either reaffirm or change the government.
On her voddy and coke
When Pat told her the Tories' intention
To unlock her pension
Not to mention
Their plans for social care
Grow old if you dare
Mrs May says
It's her lucky day
Molly can die in her own home
But as soon as she's cold
Her home will be sold
To pay off the loan
To cover the bill
She racked up being ill
Forthcoming TUC Disabled Workers' Conference, 18-19 May
The Committee agreed:
Can Marxism can help us to understand autistic experience in modern capitalism? How might Marxism inform our struggles for equality and liberation?
There are different approaches to understanding autism. Perhaps the dominant approach is a medical one: seeing autism as a disease or tragedy, and autistic people as being broken and needing fixing. Over recent years, a more progressive approach has developed. It stresses acceptance of autistic people rather than simply “awareness”, and demands rights, equality and support rather than abusive “treatments”.
This approach is based on the concept of neurodiversity: the recognition that the human species is neurologically diverse; that different people have different brain wiring. But this more progressive approach, while welcome, does not necessarily locate autism and neurodiversity within the social, economic and political structures of society. It is important to do this — firstly, because all disability exists in a social context; and secondly, because autism is largely an issue of how people interact socially. We are all expected to follow social rules, but who makes those social rules, and how?
Yesterday saw RMT's first ever Disabled Members' Conference, held in London.
Although quite small (9 delegates, plus union officials), the important thing was that it took place at all, especially as rank-and-file members had pushed for its creation against the wishes of the union's national leadership. Now it is established, it will grow from year to year, as the union's other equalities conferences have done.
By Joe Booth and Janine Booth, published in Solidarity 426, 11 January 2017
Socialist activists are drafting a manifesto for the Labour Party of radical policies to advance equality for autistic and other neurodivergent people (those with an atypical “brain-wiring”, usually a condition such as dyspraxia or attention deficit disorder). Supported by John McDonnell, a steering group has drafted a proposed manifesto and, having launched it at Labour Party conference in September, is now inviting input from Labour Party and trade union bodies and interested individuals.