Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) was formed by a group of disabled people after the first mass protest against the austerity cuts and their impact on disabled people held on the 3rd October in Birmingham, England. It was led by disabled people under the name of The Disabled Peoples’ Protest.
DPAC is for everyone who believes that disabled people should have full human rights and equality. It is for everyone who refuses to stay silent about the injustices delivered by wealthy politicians on ordinary people and their lives.
The austerity measures however need to be seen in a wider historical context. Disabled people are an easy target because society has accepted the view that generally speaking disabled people are unable to fully participate within society due solely to our impairments. This view, supported through negative and pejorative stereotyping, distorts who we are and the causes of the disabling barriers we face. Inappropriate and misleading labels such as “the disabled” or “vulnerable adults or children” reinforce prejudices and discrimination.
Disabled people are not “the disabled” – we are a diverse social group of people with a variety of impairments who continue to face unequal and differential treatment resulting from systems, structures and cultures which fail to take disabled people into account. Disabled people are not, therefore, simply subjected to disablist language and imagery but also to combined forms of inequality and oppressive representation across the equality strands.
DPAC acknowledges there will be allies who will not share [all of] our views nevertheless we request that consideration is given to how they portray disabled people and our issues in the language and imagery they employ.