Official Backing From European Commission

Posted on September 24th, 2003

officialbacking01Richard Howitt MEP
European Parliament [East of England]
President All-Party Disability Group


Michael’s ambition to be the first disabled person in the world to journey to both poles is an inspiration to us all. His pole2pole expedition in January 2004 to the South Pole will be a fitting climax to this year [2003], designated as the European Year of Disabled People.

I look forward to seeing the photographs beamed back from Antarctica of Michael hopefully planting the EYDP flag at the Pole representing not only the 8.7 million disabled people in the UK but also the approximate 30 million people with a disability across Europe.

People with disabilities are potential employees and consumers. The UK disability market is estimated at £45 – £50 billion per year [Institute of Employment], which represents 10% of the UK’s total annual domestic consumption

officialbacking02EUROPEAN-WIDE APPEAL
I strongly appeal to companies across the UK and Europe to put their financial support behind Michael’s project.

His ambition and personal commitment sends the message that as employers they can do much more to identify the strengths of an individual and not judge disabled people on what they can’t do, but on what they can do. As Michael’s ambition shows, it is most certainly very much about ability, not disability. Europe salutes what you are doing. Come home safely.

Richard Howitt MEP

– Campaigning for full civil rights for Europe’s approx 38 million disabled people
– Member of the Employment & Social Affairs Committee – promoting fairness at work and £50 million per year European funding for the East of England
– Parliament rapporteur on ethical business [raising standards for European companies in developing countries]


Lydia Drukarz, Director
Wavelength Public Relations
M. 07977 454180
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