Team Lopez – Julia welcomes the publishing of the National Disability Strategy, which aims to transform the everyday lives of disabled people throughout the UK.
The Government undertook a listening exercise with over 14,000 people participating through a survey as well as a number of roundtables, including Julia hosting Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, in Hornchurch and Upminster earlier this year.
Being informed by people with disabilities of their needs and desires has genuinely enriched and shaped the strategy as across government, Ministers are offering a set of tangible and wide-ranging practical actions that will help level up opportunity and improve the everyday experience disabled people have.
This first truly cross-government effort to transform disabled people’s everyday lives has resulted in over 100 commitments, which the Government will report against annually and take the opportunity to refresh the strategy if needed. The Minister for Disabled People has chaired regular meetings of the Ministerial Disability Champions, who have made personal commitments to drive progress in each of their Departments. As the Ministerial Disability Champion for the Cabinet Office, Julia has been involved in these discussions. These champions have been key to achieving the breadth and impact of the Government’s commitments - focusing on a range of issues across public services, housing, transport, education, leisure, shopping, employment, and rights and perceptions
The Government has outlined some of the Elements of the National Disability Strategy, being published today, below. However, the full strategy is available online via www.gov.uk/dwp and in accessible formats.
Elements of the National Disability Strategy
- consulting on new mandatory workforce reporting on disability for large employers with over 250 employees
- a new Access to Work Passport, to be piloted during 2021
- a new online advice hub offering accessible information and advice on employment rights for disabled people
- creating more opportunities for disabled people to serve in Defence and the security agencies
- 10% of the 180,000 homes built through the £11.5bn Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 will be for supported housing, alongside a £71m investment in the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund this year raising accessibility standards for all new homes
- introducing mandatory training for all 2.7m health and social care staff on autism and learning disability
- an additional £300m investment in 2021-2022 to improve access to existing provision in schools and make accessibility adaptations for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
- Investing a further £1.5m to help small bus operators to install audio and visual equipment in their vehicles across Great Britain
- strengthening the law on the carriage of disabled people in taxis and Private Hire Vehicles across Great Britain
- finding new solutions so disabled passengers and others with reduced mobility can communicate with train crew from any seat on the train
Leisure and Culture
- launching a new National Disability Arts Access card to make it easier for disabled people to access cultural venues
- making our playgrounds accessible for disabled children and their families, with a new National Model Design Code and guidance for local planning authorities emphasising the importance of accessible play spaces and equipment
- making England’s Coast Path as easy to use as possible for disabled people, with all stretches of the Coast Path open or with work underway by the end of 2021
- developing a world-leading Centre for Assistive and Accessible Technology, making the UK the best place in the world to live and work with assistive technologies
- a multi-year programme to improve the availability, quality, relevance and comparability of government disability data