Friday, 24 February 2017

A girl with autism is about to be

deported from here - because of her disability.
She has been here eight years. Her mother is a doctor who works as a GP.  They originally came from Bangladesh. Her father, another doctor, lives in Hungary. Her brother lives here. They have extended family here.
That is about all I know - assuming that the media reports are correct.
The argument for deporting her is that she will be a "burden on the taxpayer". That's it. Apparently nothing else matters. The contribution her mother is making counts for nothing in all this. The contribution her brother could make counts for nothing. The care that might be given by her extended family counts for nothing. 
What is more her own potential contribution to the community counts for nothing.
I know all too well that her chances of being employed are minimal. I know from personal experience and from seeing far too many able people with disabilities not being able to get employment. There is legislation in this country which is supposed to make discrimination with respect to the employment of people with disabilities illegal. It doesn't work. Asked why someone has not been employed and the employer will find some other reason - and it applies as much to a government department as anywhere else. It applies at the highest levels. 
I spent years setting something up. When the whole thing was ready to go in this country I applied for the lead position. I heard nothing. I wasn't even "interviewed". An announcement was made and then someone told me that someone else at the highest possible level had intervened and said he didn't want me in the position because it involved being the government's representative and a person with a disability was not acceptable. If I wanted to continue working on the project as a volunteer that was fine but I wouldn't be paid for doing it.
It was at that point I realised I would have to create my own job. And yes, it still makes me angry. Still, I could do something. 
The girl with autism won't, from all accounts, have that capability but she must be able to do something. I have an acquaintance who is training people with similar disabilities to be assistant gardeners - and almost every one of them who goes through her course gets a job somewhere. They are contributing something.
We are sending an appalling message to people with disabilities and their families when we say, "You are a burden on the taxpayer. You can't contribute anything worthwhile. We don't want you."


catdownunder said...

Since I wrote that - at the request of someone else who wanted the situation as widely known as possible - the Assistant Minister has "reconsidered" his decision. The girl will be allowed to stay.
No family should have to go through this.

Allison said...

I don't comment often. This time I cannot comment. I just don't have the words to express how sickened and horrified I am over this.

Jodiebodie said...

This is an insult to all people with disabilities of any sort and their loved ones.
It's about time we smash the notion that people with disabilities are burdens. A person's worth is more than their ability to pay a tax (and every person with a disabilty who is a consumer pays taxes, thank you very much). The bigger burderns on our country's productivity are misguided negative attitudes and discriminatory behaviour against people with disabilities. My blood is boiling.