When one group of people is forced to do certain things separately from others, or use separate spaces, this is called segregation, and the separate spaces are called segregated spaces. The word particularly implies that the target group has a worse version of the space or activity than everyone else.
In theory, we are allowed into open or integrated schools, workplaces and accommodation – but in practice, many different barriers push us out of those and into segregated ‘special’ schools, sheltered workshops and group homes more or less like institutions.
People with disability are stuck there, but we don’t get to make the decisions about how they are run or what kinds of resources they have.
And they keep us separate from the rest of our local community, which has two important effects:
- It shrinks the network of people we have personal connections with, who might notice and offer help if we were experiencing violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation.
- It reinforces how ‘different’ we are to everyone else, and doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn to see us as ordinary people.
Find out more from the #EndSegregation joint position paper.