I promised to do this a while ago, and now I'm finally getting around to it. The petition will be on petition.parliament.uk. The character counts are extremely limited, so it was difficult to provide the needed information in the available space. Please let me know what you think of the text below, because this is for all of us and not just me. Note that the information I have provided (see the links) is also from a government website, so they can't really refute that.
The title of the petition is:
Make neurodiversity a separate protected characteristic.
The background I have written is:
Neurodivergent individuals, e.g. those with autism or Tourette's, often suffer discrimination due to their condition, whether or not their condition amounts to a disabilty. Making neurodiversity a protected characteristic in itself, separate from disability, would be a step in the right direction.
Here are the additional details I have written:
Neurodivergent individuals are denied both fair treatment and mental health services at a higher rate than in the general population. As a result, the unemployment and suicide rates in the neurodivergent group are disproportionately higher as well. Presently, they are obliged to prove that their condition amounts to a disability in order to be legally protected from the discrimination and mistreatment to which they so often fall victim. Further info: tinyurl.com/y829k3oh & tinyurl.com/yavfxmod.
PS I need 5 emails addresses for supporters of the petition, so if anyone is a UK citizen and willing to "officially" support the petition, please PM me. I can likely get some from people I know, but maybe not all five that I need (I don't know many people).
(Edited based on comments received)
The problem is, that you have to have a method by which someone fits a characteristic, as such there will always be people either side of the border. In addition, this could be seen as discriminatory against NTs. Overall therefore I can not see the intrinsic value in it or what it is trying to achieve, as technically all people are neurodiverse, in the same way everybody is on the NT spectrum and everyone is on the Autism spectrum, just to greater or lesser extents.
It is not clear what you mean by "discriminatory against NTs". A neurodivergent person, by definition, is one with a specific condition, the list of which is available in the first link I provided. Neurotypical people are never discriminated against for being neurotypical, so it's not clear to me when the Equality Act would apply to them. Neurodivergent people, on the other hand, are frequently treated less favourably than NTs, and that defines the minority group the topic of this petition is meant to protect. This is not to achieve any kind of favourable treatment for neurodivergent people. It is only to protect us from discriminatory acts and harassment to which we are often subjected.
DragonCat16 said:neurodiverse person
I expect you meant 'neurodivergent' there, as in the rest of the paragraph.
'Neurodiversity' is something like 'ethnicity' or 'sexual orientation'. All humans are neurodiverse, and have an ethnicity and a sexual orientation (including asexuality and so on). If there were discrimination against heterosexuals on the basis of sexual orientation, I'm pretty sure that would be illegal under the Equality Act too. But you can still point to specific abuse directed at people who are in minorities according to one or other characteristic: disabled, gay, autistic. So the Equality Act doesn't embody discrimination against straight people, and with this amendment would not discriminate against typically developing people.
Another question for the FAQ maybe.
Technically, I believe that any type of sexual orientation is protected, so straight people are just as protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation as those who do not identify as straight. In the same way, in the event that neurotypical people were discriminated against for being neurotypical, they would also technically be protected. Thus, nobody is given an advantage or a disadvantage with this proposed change.
Yes I meant neurodivergent.
I very specifically meant that things could be seen as discriminatory against neurotypicals. Most seem to have picked up on what I was discussing, which is that everyone is on both the NT and autism spectrum. Hence if something protects people up to a border near what the majority of population class as neurotypical then people on the other side of the border could see the protection as discriminatory.
The present set up has a buffer between neurotypicals and those deemed to be on the Autism spectrum thus the larger NT population does not feel discriminated against in anyway. The losers are the cohort that are on the tail of the NT spectrum and the tail of the Autism spectrum. As there has to be a cutoff for all spectrum conditions then there will always s be some that feel that they ought to be classified as having a condition and are not. Equally though, it could be argued that they should be classified as being neurotypical, which is how the law actually works at the moment.
The basic problem is that there will always be people that think they should be on the other side of the assessment line.
As for discrimination, that will always exist as people inherently do not tend to like people that are different from themselves. That works both ways, as often autistics, including myself, do not like neurotypicals.
Handi-andis said:Most seem to have picked up on what I was discussing, which is that everyone is on both the NT and autism spectrum.
Sorry, but I can’t grasp the logic of that statement. How can I be autistic and NT at the same time? I can understand that there will be people who disagree with their assessment - rightly or wrongly. But this would a consequence of the diagnostic methodology, not a reason to abandon the concept of discrimination and any attempt to address it.
Handi-andis said:Hence if something protects people up to a border near what the majority of population class as neurotypical then people on the other side of the border could see the protection as discriminatory.
The Equality Act as it is now protects neurodivergent people only up to the border of where they cease to be considered disabled. Those who aren't disabled must live without any protection from mistreatment.
Adding neurodiversity as a protected characteristic would protect everyone from discrimination arising from where they are on the neurodiversity spectrum (i.e. on both sides of the border). That includes protection for neurotypicals (in the unlikely event that they would ever be mistreated for being neurotypical). Nobody would have any reason to complain about it as everyone would have the same protection, which is not how it is now.
This would not give any group more rights than any other group. Everyone should have an equal chance for happiness and fulfillment, but that is not how the world works. Some groups are discriminated against by others, and that is why the Equality Act is needed in the first place. The protection only comes into play when someone is discriminated against or harassed, in which case the protection would be against that type of treatment.
Therefore, there is no way that neurotypicals could claim that this is discriminatory against them, unless they were to complain that they would no longer have the freedom to harass their neurodivergent counterparts as they please, which would no doubt be a considerable blow for some of them.....