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Covid, disability and racism commission launched

09 August 2022

Disability Rights UK CEO Kamran Mallick is to chair a commission exploring the impact on Disabled people of the Covid pandemic and systemic racism.

The Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG) established the Commission on COVID-19, Disablism and Systemic Racism to explore how the worst impacts of COVID-19 have fallen on Disabled people, particularly Disabled people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

The Commission is examining the extent to which systemic long-term neglect of social care, confused Government approaches and guidance and poor implementation of policy, contributed to the bad outcomes.

Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Charitable Trust, the commission will take evidence from Disabled people and organisations and scrutinise the Department of Health and Social Care’s policies and responses to the pandemic.

It will study how systemic racism may have further worsened outcomes for Disabled people of colour – with a particular focus on social care.

The commission is urging Disabled people and people with long-term health conditions from Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups to share their views and experiences of the Covid pandemic by 30 September. It would also welcome evidence from families, carers and people who work in social care. 

Mr Mallick said: “We want to hear from as many people as possible to ensure we can build a powerful case and hold the UK Government to account for its actions during the pandemic, which  cost thousands of lives. We will also seek to provide pointers to transformative and sustainable solutions in health and social care that are rooted in justice and human rights.”

There are a range of ways for people to submit their contribution, including by emailing disability.race@vodg.org.uk or completing the online survey.