Politically motivated cuts and benefits changes have led to deaths, poverty and homelessness, and disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the Government’s mishandled response to the COVID pandemic. Disabled people are still too often viewed with pity or hostility, their lives misunderstood and their capacities underestimated.
Disabled people need solidarity not charity. In the words of Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, they deserve ‘to have equal rights to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and be fully included and able to participate in the community.’ To make this a reality, we need policies underpinned by the social model of disability and inspired by a vision of independent living for older and disabled people.
Enshrine in law the right to independent living for disabled people, as guaranteed by Article 19, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Create a National Independent Living Service, managed by central government and delivered locally in co-production with older and disabled people.
Increase funding for the Access to Work scheme and incorporate this into the National Independent Living Service.
Ensure that older and disabled people can choose from a range of peer support options delivered by user-led organisations and co-operatives wherever they live.
Amend the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to ensure that 'best interest' decisions reflect the will and preferences of disabled people.
Abolish the Bedroom Tax.
Scrap Work Capability Assessments and Personal Independent Payment assessments and end reassessments for people with long-term conditions that prevent them from working.
Embed principles of universal design, accessibility and lifetime homes into the building of new social housing.
Improve access provision for disabled sport and music fans, ensuring that venues comply with obligations under the 2010 Equality Act.
Work with trade unions and campaign groups to raise awareness of neurodiversity in the workplace and across wider society.
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