Friday, 4 November 2011
Letter To Maria Miller About Media Misrepresentation
Dear Maria Miller,
In your role as Minister for Disabled People you head the Office for Disability Issues, leading the government in matters that affect disabled people.
I would like to know what you do when:
- Your fellow ministers go on national radio sharing inaccurate information about disability benefits (Ian Duncan Smith recently went on Radio 4’s Today programme and talked about DLA as though it were an out of work benefit, and has spoken about non-means tested benefits as though they were means-tested.)
- National media reports on disability related matters using completely inaccurate statistics.
- National media reports on people claiming disability benefits using inaccurate examples and misleading statistics.
As someone that daily tries to work toward disabled people’s equality – I am disabled myself, I work for an organisation that works with disabled actors and artists, I have disabled family members and friends – I see the effects of public perceptions of disabled people as lead swingers and scroungers, and media misrepresentation encourages this.
As you are in a position to challenge this view on a country-wide scale, as compared to my very local levels of impact, I would expect you to be doing everything in your power to ensure disabled people are not repeatedly misrepresented by my fellow colleagues, or by national media.
I look forward to your response,
With thanks to MillerWatch for sharing this here