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Formerly known as BAME Recruitment

31 Mar 2023

Diversity Lens - Issue 168

I didn’t know what fully unmasked autism looked like until recently when I saw a TikTik of a doctor talking about being raised in a way where she did not ever have to attach trauma to her autistic identity. Her parents were aware of her neurodiversity from a young age and sought out settings for her that were pro-autistic, this gave her the opportunity to flourish. Her story made me reflect on the process of de-traumatising autism I have been practicing as an adult, and how beneficial accepting unmasking my own mind has been for me later in life.

If the state of being unmasked and fully autistic is so beneficial, maybe the obvious question a neurotypical would ask is: why mask at all?

Read the full blog post for World Autism Awareness Day



Broke and Disabled in Britain: The Reality of Life on One Meal a Day

Millions of disabled people in Britain today are struggling to access the most basic human needs. Being disabled has always been expensive due to added costs of specialist food or equipment, extra heating or care bills. However, the rise in the cost of living has made this untenable. Mike, who cares for his wife full-time and helps out her son and nan, receives a carer's allowance of just £69 a week.

Mike misses meals so that Sandra doesn't have to. They rarely leave the house because they don't have the money to fuel their car or mobility scooter. Sandra also has severe asthma, normally aided by air conditioning on a hot day, but this is another thing they can no longer afford.

More than 40% of those below the poverty line are either disabled or living with a disabled person.

They are also more likely to be in 'deep poverty', particularly in single-adult disabled families. They report being food-deprived, unable to heat their home, and overdue on basic living bills.

We live in one of the richest countries in the world, but a fifth of single disabled people are "effectively destitute."

Little state support is offered and is often met with accusations of 'scrounging' by right wing politicians and the media. Many rely on food banks to survive - six in 10 of the working-age people that use food banks have a disability.

The cost of living crisis for many disabled people is just an escalation of the hardships they were already experiencing.



Payments Denied, Flagged And Scrutinised: The Harrowing Experience Of Banking While Muslim

An American report released last week found that a quarter of all Muslims in the US have experienced issues while banking. This includes having their account suspended or closed, and increased scrutiny around payments. This is a form of islamophobia we don't hear about much, but can have a huge impact on financial security. Muhammad Ali Mojaradi, for instance, teaches the Persian language and poetry, but claims that his account has been frozen multiple times, and his students' payments to him have been "flagged by the banks to the government" causing them to quit the class out of fear. Mojaradi has numerous such stories across a number of different banks: "It’s discrimination. It has a chilling effect on my business," he says.

Most LGBTQ are Cyberbullied. Here's How to Stay Safe Online

This guide was kindly shared with us by a Diversity Lens reader. 
The LGBTQIA+ community, particularly younger members, can often seek solace and community over the internet. However, bullying and abuse can be encountered in its place. vpnMentor found that over 70% of the LGBTQIA+ people they spoke with had been "personally attacked or harassed online." Asexual people and trans women feel the least safe online. There are ways to shield yourself from cyberbullying and vpnMentor takes us through some examples, from simply blocking aggravating users to keeping personal information private to preventing hacking and blackmail.

World Athletics Bans Transgender Women From Competing in Female World Ranking Events

Previously, World Athletics regulations required women to lower their testosterone to a certain level in order to compete. Now however, trans women have been barred from competing altogether in the female category at international events. The World Athletics Council also voted to reduce the amount of testosterone allowed in athletes with differences in sex development, such as Caster Semenya. "We're not saying no forever," explains the governing body's president, Lord Coe, and that they will review their decision as more information becomes available. The IOC stated back in 2021 that trans athletes should not be assumed to have an advantage in female sporting events - World Athletics have acted in opposition to this.

Bollywood’s Fair Skin Fixation Helped Drive Me Away

Priyanka Chopra Jonas, an Indian actor living in the US, is spreading light on the colourism in Bollywood. She was at the pinnacle of her fame in India but had become disenchanted with the discrimination in the industry, and eventually made the move to the US. In a recent podcast, Priyanka explains, "I was lightened up in many movies" via make up and bright lights in order to appear more white. She also starred in an ad for a "fairness cream" in which a man showed no interest in her until she lightened her complexion. She expressed regret for the ad but felt she had to agree to these jobs to further her career. While there was backlash around these discriminatory attitudes following the catalyst of George Floyd's death, many claim little has changed in reality.



Two-Thirds of UK Workers With Long Covid Have Faced Unfair Treatment, Says Report

According to a recent study, two-thirds of long-term Covid patients believe they have received unfair treatment at work, with some even reporting harassment, discrimination, or dismissal. Only 1 in 10 employees, according to a study by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), have been given reasonable accommodations like fewer hours or remote working. In order to provide sufferers with legal protection, the TUC is pleading with the UK government to recognise long Covid as a disability under the Equality Act. The report urges employers to be given clearer instructions and calls for a public awareness campaign to increase awareness of long Covid. Failing to make accommodations will result in "new, long-lasting inequalities," they caution.

Ireland Asks: What if Artists Could Ditch Their Day Jobs?

Ireland is set to launch a three-year pilot programme to provide a basic income for artists and creative workers, making it the first country to implement such a scheme for the arts sector. In early experiments in Finland, California and Germany, people were paid regardless of their profession. The initiative aims to offer 2,000 artists a weekly payment of €325 to alleviate financial pressures and support their creative pursuits. The pilot programme, developed by the Irish Arts Council, is in response to the economic challenges faced by artists, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 9,000 people applied for the scheme, but only 2,000 were randomly chosen to receive payments.

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