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Government’s National Disability Strategy ‘disappointingly thin’

28 July 2021

Reacting to the publication of the Government’s National Strategy for Disabled People, Disability Rights UK CEO Kamran Mallick said:

“Disabled people have been waiting a long time for a Strategy that has meat on its bones.

“Despite being 120 pages long, the Strategy is disappointingly thin on immediate actions, medium-term plans and the details of longer term investment.

“The Strategy has insufficient concrete measures to address the current inequalities that Disabled people experience in living standards and life chances.

“There are scant plans and timescales on how to bring about vastly needed improvements to benefits, housing, social care, jobs, education, transport, and equitable access to wider society.

“While we welcome the Government’s recognition that Disabled people are much less likely than non-Disabled people to have a job, qualifications, to own a home, or to live in an accessible home, we haven’t been given the bold plans that will fix these huge issues.

“A vision is not enough. Admitting change won’t happen ‘overnight’ isn’t enough. We need radical plans, timescales, and deep financial investment to make change a reality.

“Government speaks of building back better, but Disabled people’s lives have yet to be given the first set of strong foundations on which to build anything at all. Government talks about levelling up, and a week after we saw some of the world’s richest men blast into space, we are waiting to see the Government put a rocket up its disability policy.

“We hope that now Government has laid out the stark inequalities facing Disabled people in its Strategy, it will deliver the money and engage with Disabled people’s expertise to make things happen soon.

“And while overnight change is not the reality, rapid, measurable change has to be the goal.”

In autumn 2020, DR UK ran the We Belong project to capture the views of Disabled people across the UK about what changes they wanted to see across society. We used these views to formulate our response to the consultation on the Strategy. You can read our report (PDF) here.