DAA News Network

UK: Woman loses Foreign Office posting because of being deaf

Posted 19/9-10 at 18.30

While in Warsaw, Jane Cordell, as head of the embassy's political section, led a number of initiatives on disability rights in Poland, earning a nomination for a Presidential Order of Merit medal. Now her appointment as deputy ambassador to Kazakhstan has been withdrawn by officials who ruled that her deafness makes it too expensive to send her abroad.

With the support of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, she is taking a case for disability discrimination to an employment tribunal.

She said: ‘I am bringing this case because sadly it is the only available way to get clarity on my future FCO career. A diplomat needs overseas experience; I would expect to be able to get this. I am doing this for myself and other staff at the Foreign Office whose disabilities require significant support.'

The Foreign Office, which has 228 staff registered as disabled with 52 working abroad, imposes a £10,000 ceiling on help for disabled employees and only funds extra assistance on a case-by-case basis.




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