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Government must commit to accessibility in phase three

08 July 2020

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has laid out the aims of the third phase of its economic planning as part of his Summer Statement.

Reiterating that measures to protect employees and jobs in March was phase one, new announcements about apprenticeships, training, job creation and job search starting now is phase two and phase three will be when “we will rebuild”, he set out the government’s commitment to provide “better roads, better schools, better hospitals and better high streets” as well as a commitment to housing – a “green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart”.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “With this commitment to spending on important infrastructure projects, including roads, town centres, schools and hospitals, it is imperative that the government commits to these projects with the social model of disability at the foundation of what it plans to build.

“The vast majority of infrastructure projects still lack full accessibility. This is a golden opportunity to start putting that right, and ensuring that our built environments are designed for whole-life use, by all people, at all times.

“Disabled people are exhausted at being shut out of society because of poor design.

“The Chancellor said earlier in his speech that “no-one will be left without hope” and that the government is “driven by the simple desire to do what is right.”

“It is absolutely right that disabled people are granted the same parity of access within society as non-disabled people. We are counting on that promise of hope from the Chancellor, and look forward to hearing inclusive details in the autumn Spending Review.

“We also hope that announcements will be forthcoming about the uprating of Employment and Support Allowance, the funding of Social Care, and educational support for disabled children – all of which went unmentioned in today’s announcement despite the spotlight Coronavirus has been shining on them since the start of lockdown.”