ABC Renders People With Disabilities Voiceless

ABC Renders People With Disabilities Voiceless

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A number of disability protestors were yesterday escorted out of the ABC Melbourne foyer by police. They were disgruntled by the ABC's decision to can a website created for the sole purpose of giving the disabled community a platform in which to speak their mind.

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The ABC yesterday ejected about 30 people with disabilities from its Melbourne foyer and dug in its heels in over a decision to freeze a website dedicated to giving a voice to disabled people.

The public broadcaster had been given seed funding for the site by the former Labor government in 2010, extended for two years in 2012, worth just over $1 million.

The figure represents 1 per cent of the ABC’s $1 billion editorial budget, but when the grant finally ended it refused to accommodate the Ramp Up website and mothballed it.

Disability activist and protest organiser Madeleine Sobb, 24, said the group had already moved outside voluntarily by the time police arrived yesterday.

“We’re not exactly getting ­violent,” Ms Sobb said. “It’s pretty funny, because they turned up with paddy-wagons, which they can’t actually use to arrest people in wheelchairs because they’re not allowed to arrest us without our wheelchairs.”

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