TSSA Disability Working Group

Advice for Unions on the 2006 Disability Equality Duty prepared for the TUC by the Disability Rights Commission September 2007

Articles that are related to Disability Issues.


Report from international dyslexia conference 30/July/2020 (Plus any comments I choose to add)

30-July-2020 Dyslexia conference Report
Unfortunately this had to be a virtual conference, this year due to the pandemic, but the DWG was well represented there.
There was an excellent presentation from Professor James Richards
To download a report of this important event please Click Here for MS word Docx . Or Here for Adobe PDF


Sean RIP Sean McGovern
We, the members of the TSSA DWG would like to pay our respects to Sean McGovern, who died on 6/May/2020. He was a comrade, and a socialist, who had devoted his life to the fight for equality for disabled people, in the workplace and in society at large. He was active in DPAC, and ROFA as well as representing disabled members on the TUC General council, he also served as secretary of TUDA for several years and he will be missed by all those who had the privilege of knowing him.


TUDA Open Letter to PM Re: Brexit & DIsability

On the 8/9/2018 the TSSA DWG held a meeting in Manchester, were (amongst many other things) we discussed a report from the DWG’s Vice-chair (Ray Spiteri) updating us on the activities of TUDA (Trades Union Disability Alliance) as we are affiliated to that organisation. As a part of this report we were informed about an open letter that had been produced by TUDA  concerning the many potential serous negative consequences of Brexit for people with disabilities. This letter was sent to the UK Prime minister on 28/Feb/2018. Copies of this letter were sent to numerous parliamentarians, both in the commons and the Lords, as well as a number of newspapers / radio stations and uploaded to the TUDA website.

TUDA received an acknowledgement of receipt, and several months later a “reply” that said that the letter should be sent to the Brexit department, but to date, the UK Government has not attempted to answer any of the numerous concerns raised in this letter.

You can download your own copy of the letter here, in either Docx or PDF format by clicking Docx letter or PDF letter.


UK Disability History Month – 22 November – 22 December 2017.
Members of the DWG have produced an informative document, giving information about the history of disabled people, to commemorate UK Disability History Month. You can download this interesting document by clicking Here


Dyslexia Awareness Week
This important event will be taking place in Manchester between 19-27 March 2011The PDF also contains information about a 2 day BTEG Level 3 course.
This event is being run by the Dyslexia Foundation
There are many other events listed on the PDF taking place as a part of Dyslexia awareness week so for more information please click here to download the leaflet or call 0800 077 8763

International Day of Disabled Persons, 3 December

In 1992, at the conclusion of the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons (1983-1992), the General Assembly proclaimed 3 December as the International Day of Disabled Persons (resolution 47/3). The Decade was a period of raising awareness and enacting measures to improve the situation of persons with disabilities and to provide them with equal opportunities. Subsequently, the Assembly appealed to Member States to highlight the observance of the Day in order to further integrate people with disabilities into society

Please click here for more info


13 October 2010 - Employment and Support Allowance

The TUC has found a number of case studies that show that the (DWP) is moving people from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) purely to save money, even though the individuals are not fit enough to return to work. For full article please Click Here

Independent Living Fund
The Independent Living Fund currently provides vital support for over 21,000 disabled people but due to the rising cost of care the fund has had to close to new applicants for the remainder of the financial year; There is an Early Day Motion in parliament, coming up soon that “calls on the Government to increase the funding to the Independent Living Fund to allow it to continue providing support to all who require it.” If you support the good work that this fund has achieved so far and want the funding to be increased so that it can be available to all the disabled people who need it, then Please ask your MP to support the motion.

Here is a link to the motion its self

To find out who your MP is please click here.


Government blocks new Europe-wide disability rights
Disabled people face widespread discrimination because goods like washing machines, mobile phones or TVs are not often designed to meet their needs. The Disability Discrimination Act does not cover this area, so it's left to the European Union to act. Governments of the 27 EU countries are negotiating on this now and will have the final say on whether it goes ahead. Unfortunately, some countries, including the UK, are opposing new EU laws to make manufactured goods accessible, thus wasting a unique opportunity.

Also A new law is being negotiated at the moment that would significantly improve the rights of disabled people across the European Union when using buses and coaches. Unfortunately, some countries, including the UK, have weakened the proposals and therefore the rights disabled people could have at local level.

For more info please click here



Employees to be protected against associative discrimination

The Employment Tribunal has made a decision in the case of Coleman v Attridge, The EAT has decided that employees should be protected against associative discrimination by inserting additional words into the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

For more info please.Click Here


Welfare Reform Bill

Mothers, carers, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence … win important changes in the Lords.

But some may be overturned on Tuesday when the Bill returns to the Commons. Join us to press MPs to keep them.

For more info click here Welfare Reform Bill

16 January 2009 A judge has ordered the Royal Bank of Scotland to install a lift in order to give a wheelchair user equal access to it’s premises.For more info Please Click Here

20 November 2009 Ruling on access to bank confirmed by court of Appeal For more info Please Click Here


2009 TUC Campaign for justice for victims of Pleural Plaques (Asbestosis)

2009 TUC Disability Conference Report

24 August 2009 People with mental health conditions get extra support to stay in work

2009 TSSA's Disability Working Group mini-conference inTorquay

16 January 2009 Commission helps secure landmark accessibility ruling for disabled people In the first ruling of its kind, a judge has ordered the Royal Bank of Scotland to install a lift so that a wheelchair user can have the same access as any other
customer. For more info please Click Here

2008 TSSA’s Disability Working Group mini-conferencein Scarborough

2008 Conference Disability Living Allowance: This is is the text of a resolution carried at TSSA’s Annual Conference that the Executive Committee decided to convey to the RNIB and also that the campaign be given publicity amongst TSSA members.

2008 TSSA reps Conference -TSSA's self-organised groups Inclusion not exclusion -‘In everyday life disabled people suffer exclusion,’ said Pauline McArdle, chair of the Disability Working Group. The DWG is about raising awareness and solving problems. Everyone is welcome at meetings, ‘but it’s the disabled members that have a voice and have a vote in our group and that is because in many forums they just don’t get that opportunity.’ Pauline talked about issues that DWG could advise on: ‘Things like if you’ve got a disabled child or relative, or fixing your computer.

TSSA Disability Working GroupThrough the TSSA website, www.tssa.org.uk, I learned about the SOGS (self organised groups) including the DWG (Disability Working Group). I was interested in its activities but didn’t know that my health issues were covered under the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) and therefore I was entitled to become a member of the group.

2007 November TSSA e-Journal: Disability Equality Duty
Experts at the Disability Rights Commission have prepared advice on how the law can be used by trade unions to strengthen their negotiating position with employers subject to the Disability Equality Duty.
2007 August/September TSSA Journal: A million for disability rights
There are 50 million people who are disabled in Europe but there’s still discrimination.
2007 July TSSA e-Journal: Disability working group mini conference 12-13 May, Southport
The well-attended event began with a training session by David Parr, one of the architects of the successful Disability Champions Project.
Annual Conference 2007: Inclusion not exclusion
After the 2006 conference decision to support the Parallel Universe report as well as extensive discussion with representatives of each group, conference agreed EC proposals for the recognition of self organised groups. Gerry Doherty said: "TSSA must respond to the needs of today's society so we can meet the challenges of tomorrow's world - so the voiceless can be heard, the voteless will have a say and the marginalised can be brought into the very centre of everything that we do."
2007 January/February TSSA Journal: Disability Working Group AGM
There was a good attendance at the AGM in Nottingham on 2 December. Pauline McArdle, chair, reported on the past year's activities, highlighting the mini-conference held in Llandudno, the launch of the newsletter, and progress on previously agreed priorities.
2006 November/December TSSA Journal: TSSA's Disability Working Group
TSSA's Disability Working Group met on 9 September 2006. Seventeen people from all parts of the country had a very constructive meeting. Luke Chester, of the union's modernisation project, gave a challenging address which led to a lively discussion.
2006 May/June TSSA Journal: TUC success for TSSA Disability Working Group
The TUC Disability Conference 2006 took place on May 24-25 at Congress House. TSSA was represented by Pauline McArdle, Sue Yeo, Peter Amos, Richard Scudder and Rod Payne.
Annual Conference 2006: Disability Working Group mobilises on transport
From this December, disabled people using trains and buses will be able to sue companies if they receive inferior customer service to people without disabilities.
2004 September/October TSSA Journal: Give us empathy not sympathy
This month new laws will strengthen rights for disabled people. But according to disabled TSSA member Pauline McArdle, more needs to be done.