Aiken Promotions charging double for people with disabilities
Thursday 14th February2013
Personal Assistants/Carers are not attending these events as individuals but as a mechanism to facilitate the independence of the Person with a Disability. This effectively removes that independence and acts as a penalty for people with disabilities where they must pay double the price now if they wish to attend. That's discrimination.
The Center for Independent Living is the largest representative organisation of Personal Assistance Users, and wishes to register our response to the recent Irish Times article entitled ‘Aiken No Longer Giving Free Entry to Carers’.
CIL believes that in their latest review of their policy, that they are in direct contravention of the Equal Status Act 2004 – which outlaws the discrimination of people with disabilities in admittance to venues, and provides for reasonable accommodation to enable people with disabilities to gain admittance to events. Michael McCabe Chairperson of the Center for Independent Living was quoted today as saying “The removal of free entry for carers and personal assistants represents direct discrimination under the Equal Status Act, as without their Personal Assistant a person with a disability may not be in a position to attend an event.” The Center for Independent Living does not consider the admittance of a carer/Personal Assistants to be unreasonable or of a disproportionate burden to the company.
When Personal Assistants are with a person with a disability, they are employed by the person to support and fulfil their needs. They are not in attendance to enjoy a concert/match; they are there solely for the person with a disability. The Center for Independent Living also has huge health and safety concerns about this, and believes that this policy review will prevent many of our members from attending events.
Leigh Gath is a person with a significant physical disability and a spokesperson for Independent Living is quoted today as saying “People with disabilities are already at a disadvantage in society. Therefore, to keep the playing field level it makes sense to allow a Personal Assistantto accompany the person with a disability to wherever they need or want to go”
The Center for Independent Living was not consulted in this policy review, and would welcome the opportunity to work with Aiken promotions on this issue.