Handicap This! November-December 2012

December 8, 2012

by Suzanne Rose

London, England—A disability campaigner who set up an e-petition to stop government benefit cuts has vowed to continue her fight, after gaining more than 62,000 signatures. E-petitions need 100,000 signatures for a debate in parliament. Though the petition has failed in this regard, it is not the end for the campaign. Pat Onions, who is blind, said the government is treating disabled people as “worthless commodities” but that “doing nothing is not an option.” The cause has struck a chord with people who feel the cuts are falling disproportionately on the disabled.

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Zambia—The government is considering a bill honoring the principles expressed in the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The bill promotes, among other things, access to justice, participation in political and public life, the right to education, employment and freedom of movement. It also prohibits torture, exploitation, violence against and abuse of people with disabilities.

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Los Angeles—The County Sheriff is looking for a man accused of raping a mentally disabled woman on a city bus. The man followed her to the back of the bus and raped her. A single witness tried to alert the bus driver that the rape was happening, but nothing was done.

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Hollywood—A 64-year-old woman in a wheelchair died one day after she fell backwards down the escalator at the Hollywood/Highland Metro Red Line station on Oct. 16. Brenda Carter and her attendant used the escalator because the elevator was out of service.

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