Over the past year it has often felt like disabled people’s lives haven’t been valued equally. We have had Care Act rights removed, our access to health care de-prioritised, inadequate support for education, challenges in buying food and barriers to accessing information.
At times in the past, we have come together to assert our place in society and this is one of those times. With the Government’s Disability Strategy to be published in the spring, we need to take the opportunity to say loud and clear that We Belong in every area and aspect of society. That we must have a society that is designed to enable us to be full and equal citizens. A society that recognises our need for support and adaptation and our talent and contribution.
In autumn 2020 Disability Rights UK ran an engagement campaign to gain the views of disabled people on what societal change was required. We have now produced a report based on the feedback we received. I’m sure the list of recommendations we make isn’t exhaustive but implementing them would be an amazing start to creating a society that truly includes us. We ask the government to ground the Disability Strategy in the recommendations the report makes. It is not enough to tinker with current policies and services, we need radical and ambitious change.
We need renewal of equalities legislation, funding of Disabled People’s Led Organisations, genuine co-production and engagement, full political participation and fundamental changes to social security, social care and employment services.
I hope this report acts as a call to action to disabled people to demand widespread and lasting change. I hope that the government takes strong action to embed the Social Model of Disability across all aspect of society, and in its actions, reflects the extent of our ambition. I hope that within the next ten years, we can hand on heart say: We Belong.
You can read the We Belong report by clicking here