Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Scapegoat:Why we are failing disabled people

Why we are failing disabled people
Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
11.00am – 13.00pm, Saturday 26 November 2011 
with Katharine Quarmby, author, journalist and broadcaster
There is no charge for attending this event
Congress House is a fully accessible building
Please register in advance by contacting:
Telephone:              020 7467 1220
Post:                          SERTUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

Contact Phone Number  
Union, trades council or organisation  
Any special access or dietary needs


Why we are failing disabled people

10.30am onwards             Tea and coffee will be provided
11.00am                               Introduction by the Chair of the event
11.05am                               Katharine Quarmby
                                                Panel discussion and questions from the audience
13.00pm                               Buffet lunch/reception
13.30pm                               Close
Our society is poisoned by discrimination and prejudice against disabled people. Police crime statistics show that the number of disability hate crimes recorded increased by more than 20 per cent in 2010, to 1569, although that is probably a tiny fraction of the real number that occurred. A recent report by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission found that ‘many disabled people regard harassment as inevitable’.

In a recently published and acclaimed book, Katharine Quarmby, asks what can be done to prevent hate crime being perpetrated against disabled people? In her book Katharine analyses the incidence of such crimes and the motivations behind them. And she finds that all too often the assaults were dismissed by social care agencies, before they culminated in murder. Consequently, she asks how and why we are failing disabled people in Britain? Then we must ask, “So where do we go from here? What concrete steps that we can take to achieve much needed and dramatic change”.
‘Scapegoat: how we are failing disabled people in Britain’, was published by Portobello Press on 6 June. It is the first British investigation into disability targeted violence.

Katharine Quarmby is a writer, journalist and film-maker specialising in social affairs, education, foreign affairs and politics, with an investigative and campaigning edge. She has spent most of her working life as a journalist and has made many films for the BBC, as well as working as a correspondent for The Economist, and contributing to British broadsheets, including the Guardian, Sunday Times and the Telegraph.

Katharine was recently the joint winner of the prestigious 2010 Radar Human Rights Person of the Year award for her work on disability hate crime, with friends and colleagues Stephen Brookes and Anne Novis, for their online forum, the ‘Disability Hate Crime Network’.

More details of Katharine’s work can be found at
Seats for this event are limited. To reserve a place please register at, or call SERTUC on 020 7467 1220 or register by post at SERTUC, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS

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