It has come to our attention that information we distributed last year about Coronavirus and Face Masks is continuously being misused and interpreted in a way to mislead people.
We chose to highlight that some disabled people are exempt from wearing masks and that some disabilities aren’t always apparent. The sentiment of the post was to ‘be kind’; to not assume if someone wasn’t wearing a mask and to point out that hostility towards disabled people could constitute a hate crime.
We are extremely disheartened to hear that our post is being used as a way to get around the mandatory use of face masks for non-disabled and/or for people who are not exempt from wearing a mask and to ‘threaten’ people with hate crime reports should they be challenged.
Disability Equality has spent the last 25 years building a reputation and values that further the rights of disabled people and to break down social and attitudinal barriers that hinder and harm disabled people. The misrepresentation of our organisation negates the valuable work we do and we wish to formally distance ourselves from this disturbing development.
In conclusion, we would ask that everyone follows government guidelines in order to keep ourselves and others safe in these difficult time.