Campaign for Inclusion: Manchester People First Demands Equal Opportunities

  • Manchester People First group seeks for equal opportunities.
  • Job opportunities should be made suitable for disabled people
  • Social inclusion and benefits

Manchester People First, a self-advocacy group for individuals with learning disabilities, has called on Manchester City Council to take action in promoting equal rights and opportunities.

The group is pressing for more inclusive practices to ensure people with learning disabilities are given fair chances in employment and other vital services. 

Manchester People First focuses on empowering adults with learning disabilities by providing training, facilitating social connections, and ensuring their voices are heard. The group’s mission includes delivering information in accessible formats to cater to their members’ needs. 

members of the group express concerns

Patricia Philips, a member of the group, expressed her frustrations about discrimination. She said: “I can say I am being treated differently because I have a disability. It’s like being visually impaired—if you do not have eyes, you cannot see.”

Another member, Nemo, highlighted the employment challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. He said: “When I go to job websites, there are not a lot of jobs for people with disabilities. We are excluded from opportunities, and we are stuck in a cycle. We need the right support; we should not be treated differently. The council should incorporate us in all vital services.”

raised concerns

These concerns were echoed in a recent inquiry by the Public Service Select Committee on the transition from education to employment for young disabled people. Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley noted the significant employment barriers faced by disabled individuals. “Disabled people are more likely to be unemployed or economically inactive than non-disabled people. They face many barriers to entering the workplace, particularly for the first time,” she said. 

Baroness Morris emphasized the importance of the transition from education to employment, a critical period for young disabled people. “This is a time of significant change, shifting from services aimed at young people to those geared towards adults. We want to establish how well this works and how it can be improved. We also want to understand the effectiveness of career support for disabled individuals,” she added. 

Members of Manchester People First have proposed several measures to improve inclusivity. Steven Blake suggested that the council and society should ensure that vital social benefits and information are accessible to people with learning disabilities. “Mechanisms should be put in place to make accessing information easy for everybody, including us,” Blake urged. 

The group’s appeal highlights the ongoing need for systemic changes to support people with learning disabilities. By addressing these issues, Manchester City Council can help create a more inclusive and equitable society, where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. 

As the call for equality and diversity gains momentum, it is hoped that concrete actions will be taken to support the needs and rights of individuals with learning disabilities, ensuring they are not left behind in the pursuit of social and economic opportunities.