Many years ago at school there was a small group of us in what was known as a PHU or ‘partially hearing unit.’ This was a specialist classroom for the deaf and hard of hearing kids. During playtimes and lunchtimes we would go out into the ‘general’ areas – the playground, canteen, etc, and mix with the hearing kids.
One day there was a minor incident in which a deaf kid was teased by a hearing kid. During the next assembly, the elderly head-teacher reprimanded this child, pointing out that ‘bullying is bad enough as it is, but bullying a deaf child is disgraceful.’ I agree with this principle set down many years ago by an educated and well-respected man with an old fashioned sense of right and wrong.
Now fast forward 30 years or so and we see that for once David Cameron is right about moral decay – except not in the way he made out. There are few things more immoral than the way Atos bullies disabled people.
It would make for too long a blog post to catalogue the main abuses committed by Atos against disabled people. Unfair and badly-done assessments. False information recorded. Non-accessible testing centres. All this has been well documented and widely reported.
Now this Atos corporate organisation has stooped yet lower (something which might seem impossible) by bringing out lawyers and trying to shut down parts of sites such as Carer Watch where disabled people and their friends and relatives find refuge to talk about Atos’ very bad behaviour.
Disabled people – the people whose opinion really counts – have little doubt that Atos carries out its business in a manner which is deeply shameful. Bullying is bad enough as it is, but bullying disabled people is disgraceful. It’s not enough for them to devastate our lives; they also want to prevent us from talking about the devastation that they cause!