Not allowing disabled people to self-id leads to 'ridicule and intrusion', says MSP

Holyrood’s first permanent wheelchair-using MSP has hit back at criticism of a job advert from the Green party which asks for applicants to ‘self-define’ as disabled.

It comes after the anti-gender recognition act reform lobby group ForWomen Scotland took to Twitter to criticise an advert from Green MSP, Gillian Mackay, for a research and casework assistant internship with the party which is supported by disability charity Inclusion Scotland.

The concept of self-identification is central to criticisms of planned reform of the gender recognition act by the SNP, with campaigners arguing allowing transgender people to self-identify as the opposition sex would impact the rights of women.

It is also rejected as a meaningful concept by many gender critical activists.

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy has criticised attacks by a lobby group on a job advert.

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In a tweet, For Women Scotland said: “Self-define as disabled” for a chance to work with Gillian and Lorna [Slater]!”.

It further retweeted one person stating that such a job advert would leave people “narked by the idea of ‘self-id’-ing one’s way into a plum job using asthma or dsylexia”.

However, Scottish Labour’s Pam Duncan-Glancy said ‘self-id’ is the approach preferred by the disability movement, and any attempt for people to “prove” their medical history would lead to “ridicule and intrusion”.

She said: “Self id has long been an approach preferred by the disability movement.

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“No one should have to provide their medical history, just to be accepted for who they are. We’ve seen where that gets us, it gets us to ATOS type ridicule and intrusion. Which is unacceptable.

“This is an important matter of principle too, it recognises that not all impairments are seen, and allows people the space to ‘come out’, to identify themselves to others as disabled so that they too can be part of a community of people and be accepted for who they are.

“This is and always has been about acceptance and tolerance, and those are principles that any disabled person – or any person in fact – in a progressive society should be able to both enjoy and espouse.”

Gillian Mackay, who suffers from hearing loss, said she was proud to offer the internship.

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She said: “As a young disabled woman my Inclusion Scotland internship opened so many doors for me.

"I am extremely proud that I am now in a position to offer another young person a similar experience.”

For Women Scotland were contacted for comment.

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