Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Disabled welfare tests on fourth floor: Couldn't make it up

It has all the elements of one of those newspaper stories with the banner headline – you couldn't make it up.

Hundreds of disabled welfare claimants were called to an assessment centre in Belfast, on the fourth floor.

They were then turned away because there were fears those with severe mobility or visual problems could not evacuate the building safely in an emergency.

Instead they had to go to other centres in Portadown or Ballymena.

Some uncharitable souls might think claimants were asked to go to the fourth floor as some sort of benefits test. We would not be so uncharitable.

However, we would question the fitness of whoever presided over this.

Is access not the first thing one thinks of when dealing with people with disabilities?

Such a blunder doesn't inspire confidence in the assessment procedure.

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