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Disability campaign calls for changes.

A campaign to promote equality for disabled people was launched on Teesside by a Government minister.

MP Anne McGuire, the minister for disabled people, launched Redcar and Cleveland's Just the Ticket campaign, which features posters showing positive images of people who have disabilities.

The posters, with the slogan Tickets Take You Places (Labels Just Stick), include blind BBC Radio Cleveland presenter Mark Turnbull and Redcar charity busker Norman Evans MBE, who has multiple sclerosis.

The campaign, launched yesterday at Redcar Education Development Centre, urges people to think more positively about people with disabilities.

It has been developed by Redcar and Cleveland Real Opportunity Centre (ROC) and the borough council, and forms part of the new Disability Equality Duty, which became law in December.

The new duty makes it a legal requirement for all public bodies to have a disability equality scheme to promote equal opportunities for disabled people.

Lynne Baggley, chair of the Redcar and Cleveland Disabled People's Partnership Board, features on the posters.

Lynne, a wheelchair user who works with Job Centre Plus, said: "We are citizens just like anyone else and these designs have been created by, with and featuring local disabled people, and celebrate the positive - not the passive.

"The Disability Equality Duty requires all public bodies to shift negative attitudes and these images will begin to bridge the gaps."

Ann McGuire said: "The new duty is a ground-breaking step on the road to the government's vision of achieving equality for disabled people."

The duty requires public authorities to try to end unlawful disability discrimination and harassment of disabled people.

Authorities must also promote equal opportunities, take account of disabled persons' disabilities - even if that involves treating them more favourably than others - promote positive attitudes towards disabled people, and encourage their participation in public life.

Redcar MP Vera Baird said the Government was "concentrating on eliminating social exclusion wherever we find it".
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2007
Words:315
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