19 September 2016

Disability employment gap


The government must do more to research the benefits of disabled people finding work, according to a former diplomat who was forced to quit after the Foreign Office refused to fund the lip-speakers she needed to do her job.

Jane Cordell was giving evidence to the Commons work and pensions committee as part of its inquiry into the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap (the difference between the employment rates of disabled and non-disabled people).

Five years ago, Cordell (pictured giving evidence), who became profoundly deaf as a young woman, lost her employment tribunal appeal in a disability discrimination case against the Foreign Office over the cost of providing her with lip-speakers to do her job.

She had been offered the job of deputy ambassador to Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan, but the offer was then withdrawn because the government said the cost of providing lip-speakers, which would include their costs to travel from the UK to Kazakhstan - as there are no lipspeakers in the country itself- would be 'unreasonable'

Read the Disability News Service's report here.

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