This new strategy aims to make everyday life easier for people with a disability, this includes more accessible housing, easier commuting and better job opportunities.
Despite the law that was introduced 25 years ago stating disabled people should be treated equally, many disabled people face difficulties in their day-to-day life.
In January of 2021, the government sent out the UK Disability survey, where thousands of disabled people, carers and families filled it in. Meetings with disabled people, families, disability organisations and many others were held to best write the strategy and improve thousands of lives.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated:
“Just as our talented Paralympians are set to take the stage in Tokyo next month, at home we are harnessing that same ambition and spirit, to build a better and fairer life for all disabled people living in the UK.”
“Our new National Disability Strategy is a clear plan – from giving disabled people the best start in school to unlocking equal job opportunities, this strategy sets us on a path to improve their everyday lives.”
The disability strategy aims to:
- Support disabled children more in school
- Improve the accessibility of homes
- Have more disabled people in the workplace
- Change people views on disabled people
Improving The Accessibility of Homes and Transport
As many houses have not been designed with disability in mind, the government now pledges to think of disabled people from the start while planning new things. The ministry of housing, communities and local government plans include:
- Building more new homes that are suitable for disabled people
- Looking for ways to make shopping centers and areas easier to access
- Having more fully accessible toilets (including changing places)
- Making sure buildings are safe and secure for disabled people, especially in the event of an emergency.
- Encouraging local governments to build more playgrounds that are better suited for disabled children.
There have also been improvements to public transport to help disabled people commute to work. The department for transport is responsible for roads, railways and airlines and making these more available. Improving the Blue Badge Scheme to allow disabled people to park in more convenient places is included in their plans as well as:
- Making taxis more usable
- Increasing the number of community support drivers
- Places such as buses, bus stops, bus stations trains and train stations will be made more accessible and safe
- Electric charging for your vehicle will be made more accessible
There are also plans to provide disabled people more money to help get out into the countryside, improving health.
Supporting Disabled Children In Schools
The department for education looks after young people and their education. For the new disability strategy their plans include:
- Giving teachers better training for supporting children with a disability
- Looking at improving things for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
- Giving young people and parents have their say in SEND
- More money to for schools to make them more accessible
There will be a £300 million investment into schools and the educational system to better provide for disabled children. An online passport will also be provided to help people travel effortlessly from education into the work place.
Creating More Jobs
One of the government’s plans is to help disabled people find jobs and start their own businesses. A 9% target increase has been set on the number of people with a disability who work at places such as MI5, MI6, 6CHQ, the reservists and the civilian army by 2030. A new online advice hub is set to be released which will tackle issues such as discrimination in the workplace and flexible working.
The department for business, energy and industrial strategies plan will look at:
- Helping carers take time off when they need it
- Aiding disabled people start their own business
- Encouraging people to invent equipment and technology that will help disabled people.
This also includes the ministry of defences plans for giving disabled people the chance to work for them.
Helping more disabled people become magistrates is one of the plans that the Ministry of Justice has as well as:
- Assisting disabled people who are accessing courts
- Helping people who use sign language to be on a jury
- Helping their staff to be more inclusive of people who have mental health issues and disabilities
Improving The Everyday Life Of Disabled People
As many disabled people still struggle with feeling as they have equal opportunities there will be extra measures put into place to make sure everyone will be treated the same. Making information more widely available to increase understanding of disabled people is also part of the plan to improve the day-to-day life and cut down on discrimination. It will also be made easier for disabled people to take part and vote in elections.
The Home office will work with disabled people when looking at new ways to deal with and prevent hate crimes and will improve the way we deal with crime including disability hate crimes.
Other areas will include working with Sports England to help disabled people enjoy sports and be active again and making sure disabled people are involved with projects we support in less developed countries.
This year the government will collect as much information as they can to better understand how these changed they’ve made will affect disabled people. They will be writing a yearly report which explains what work they have been doing to help disabled people.
Next year the plans are to focus on making products and services more accessible, as well as tackling crime against disabled people and way to make sure disabled people have the same opportunities to take part in things.
For any further information on the new Disability Strategy visit the Government website