|The Scottish Bahá’í, No.37 – Autumn, 2004||bahá’í council for scotland|
| • HOME
> SBN INDEX > CONTENTS > COUNCIL NEWS •
|More Council News|
Disability Discrimination (Scotland) Act
As you probably know, the Government is in the process of introducing laws which make it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people. These new laws apply to us in the case of organised events like summer and winter schools, the annual Gathering, training courses, and meetings generally. There are two important things to be aware of.
First: "disability" can mean a whole range of things; not just being in a wheelchair. According to the Act itself: " .... a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities." This means we also have to think of providing such things as, for example, large-print versions of our literature, hearing-aid loops, and extra helpers.
Second: the Act requires us to make reasonable adjustments. What exactly is "reasonable", is not yet clear, and will be become apparent when tested in the courts. Obviously, we do not want to be part of this kind of testing, so we must do our best to err on the side of caution. It seems unlikely that we will ever have to cancel a whole event because a person with a disability would not be able to attend, as this would be unreasonable. However, if we can make some adjustment, for example by changing to a venue that offers the required facilities, then we must do so, and we must accept – within reason – the extra cost and efforts that this may involve. Small, local gatherings at friend's homes may or may not be affected by the act. In any case, we would not want any disabled person to feel excluded from community life because of their disability. This is not for the cynical reason of avoiding litigation, but because we are building a better kind of world that is by definition inclusive. So can you still go for a walk in the hills with some friends, even if a wheelchair-bound member of your community would not be able to join ? Of course you can! Feeling included means that a person feels loved and appreciated, and has a useful role in the community.
Finally, the Baha'i Council for Scotland will endeavour to provide such facilities as necessary for disabled people to take part in the events it organises. In turn, the Council asks anyone in the community who has a disability to make contact, so that it can take measures at an early stage.
From the Treasurer of the Bahá’í council for Scotland
LIFEBLOOD OF THE CAUSE
Contributing to the Fund is a service that every believer can render, be he poor or wealthy, for this is a spiritual responsibility in which the amount given is not important. It is the degree of the sacrifice of the giver, the love with which he makes his gift and the unity of all the friends in this service which bring spiritual confirmations...
The Universal House of Justice 18 Dec 1963
Did you know that,
Warmest Bahá’í Greetings
|Training Institute Board for Scotland|
18th to 31st December, 2004
Readers are reminded that further Ruhi Courses will take place in December as follows.
In Moffat – Ruhi 3: 18th to 23rd – Ruhi 4: 24th to 29th – £72 each + Books
In Fyvie – Ruhi 6: 18th to 24th – Ruhi 7: 25th to 31st – £49 each + Books
[Note: The above prices are correct, please ignore those printed in the Newsletter.]
For more information, please contact Ian Fozdar, E: firstname.lastname@example.org or see the spring edition of the “Scottish Bahá’í” (Issue 35) (W: www.breacais.demon.co.uk/sbn/sbn35/tibs.htm).