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Self-Advocacy Group Issues Report On Discrimination
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 1, 2004

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND--A newly established disability rights group this week launched a report on the discrimination that people with disabilities experience in the North West region of the country.

Former Health Minister Bairbre de Brun this week unveiled the report, "Putting People Down", issued by the group that calls itself "Destined". The report was compiled by members of the group that have "learning disabilities", the term that closely matches "intellectual disabilities" in the United States.

Several members recorded their "shocking" experiences for the report, according to Thursday's Belfast Telegraph.

One woman, named Ann, said that she has endured severe discrimination at the hands of her coworkers.

"I am constantly mocked in the place where I live and work," she said. "I'm called spastic, handicapped, buck teeth, simple, fatso and worse and mocked because of the way I walk."

"I feel hurt and have lashed out at people who have called me names, only I have got into trouble. I feel very depressed because I think I am ugly and that no one likes me."

"I also feel no one believes me. I am on medication for depression and to control my anger."

A Destined spokesperson said that the group will now take the message to the greater community.

"The overall message emanating from all of the discussions is that people with learning disabilities see themselves as being no different from the rest of society and that they want that society to treat them as equals."

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