A campaigning disability organisation has laid out seven “radical but practical” measures the next government should introduce in its first 100 days in office so that it can “blaze a trail for disability equality”.
RADAR says in its election manifesto – launched this week – that introducing the seven policies would immediately improve opportunities for disabled people, “without breaking the bank”.
And it is calling on campaigners to ask their local parliamentary candidates to pledge to support the policies.
Liz Sayce, RADAR’s chief executive, said that adopting the seven measures would allow the new government to send out “strong signals” about how it would approach issues such as social care and support, and disabled people leading change.
The seven measures are:
- Introducing social care “portability”, so a disabled person could take their support package with them if they moved to a home in a different local authority area.
- Giving disabled people looking for work an indication of the access to work funding they would receive if they secured a job.
- Setting up a taskforce to develop a strategy for ending disability poverty by 2025.
- Changing the local housing allowance rules so disabled people who need an overnight support worker could claim for a second bedroom.
- Drawing up regulations to ensure “effective and enforceable” public sector equality duties under the Equality Act.
- Repealing the law that says MPs must lose their seat if detained under the Mental Health Act for more than six months.
- Send a “strong signal” that disabled people’s leadership aspirations will be met, through issuing statements and giving a high profile to disabled politicians.
The manifesto also includes a wide range of other polices that should be introduced during the next parliament, as well as longer-term measures.
The policies focus on independent living, disability poverty and financial exclusion, access, realising the potential of disabled people, and equality and justice.
They include: a national action plan for inclusive education; an “intensive” campaign to raise awareness among disabled people of the Equality Act, the Human Rights Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; stronger and more effective enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation; and the introduction of a national disability hate crime register.
Sayce said: “We have said in the manifesto that factoring disability into mainstream policies just makes for better policies.
“Think of disabled people as contributors, leaders, and think about disability when you are considering schools or housing or anti-poverty, because that will just make for better policies.”
21 April 2010