Scott Morrison's 'blessed' disability comment 'harmful', argues MENCAP's Ciara Lawrence

21 April 2022, 15:25 | Updated: 21 April 2022, 15:30

'He doesn't understand the amazing lives that many of us lead.'

By Tim Dodd

MENCAP's Ciara Lawrence has told LBC that the comment by Australian PM Scott Morrison that he's "blessed" not to have children with disabilities is "insulting" and "harmful".

Mr Morrison made the comment during a town hall debate after a woman with an autistic son asked him about funding for a disability support scheme.

Ms Lawrence told Shelagh Fogarty: "I think that words like this are insulting to disabled people. It's harmful, because it describes us like we're not worthy, that we're second-class.

"He doesn't understand the amazing lives that many people with a learning disability lead.

"If he actually went and spent time with people with a disability, he could better understand the challenges we face, but also the amazing, positive, wonderful lives we lead just like anyone else."

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Shelagh asked: "Does he echo a lot of people in society who automatically assume that to have a disability... [is] less than and undesirable?"

"I think people shouldn't assume things about disabled people, they shouldn't assume we're different, you need to treat people the way that you would like to be treated," Ms Lawrence said.

"I have a learning disability. I've worked at MENCAP now for 21 years, I have an amazing career. I'm married. I live in my own home. I have my own online podcast that I run and I interview people myself.

"I do amazing things, but society still labels us, they still call us names, they still don't understand.

"Please don't make assumptions, please don't make comments like this unless you've met us and you understand."

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