Nelson - freak or hero?
The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) is using Nelson's Column to bring the disability debate into sharp focus. The question "Freak or Hero?" will be projected onto the column, hopefully challenging the thousands of people that pass through London's Trafalgar Square to consider their attitudes to disability.
Nelson was arguably our nation's most heroic figure. He also had malaria and yellow fever, a hernia in his stomach, lost the sight in one eye and had his arm amputated from above the elbow.
According to the DRC:
"If Nelson is a 'freak', it is a stark monument to the failure of society to allow disabled people the same chances in their professional lives. His 'freakishness' would not be because he's disabled, but because there are so few, like him, who ever get to the top. Nelson was loved by his nation. A hero in his own time, the nation wept when his death was announced. Today he would be unlikely even to have a job, let alone lead his country to victory. Today, only 51% of disabled people are in work, and many of those only work part-time. 45% of employers in one survey believe it would be 'quite/very difficult' to employ a disabled person."The projection coincides with a national advertising campaign by the DRC, which questions our attitude to people with impairments and long-term health conditions, entitled "Are We Taking the Dis?"
The Disability Rights Commission has a website dedicated to this campaign, ensuring that everyone can have their say.