‘Landmark’ plans lay out route towards independent living in Wales


theweeksubDisabled campaigners have warmly welcomed “landmark” plans that describe how the Welsh government will promote independent living.

The Framework for Action on Independent Living is the country’s first cross-government disability strategy, and lays out how the government hopes to ensure disabled people “have the same access to services and opportunities as the rest of society”.

It was launched today (Thursday) in Cardiff, and follows the Independent Living NOW! campaign by Disability Wales, which called for a national strategy on independent living.

Following initial reluctance, the Welsh government agreed to produce a framework for action, based on priorities highlighted by Disability Wales.

The outcomes the Welsh government wants to see are: access to good quality and accessible information and advice; improved access to independent advocacy; better access to public transport; access to technology that supports independent living; more choice and control for people over their own care and support; increased employment rates for disabled people; improved access to adapted and accessible housing, as well as to buildings, streets and public places; and access for more disabled people to a centre for independent living.

It is now working to identify ways to measure progress on each of the outcomes.

Rhian Davies, chief executive of Disability Wales, said her organisation “warmly welcomes” publication of the framework for action.

She said: “This is a landmark event on the long journey towards making social inclusion, equality of opportunity and independent living a reality for disabled people in Wales.”

She added: “We have worked closely with Welsh government, the Welsh Local Government Association, national disability charities, disabled people’s organisations and many others to ensure that the framework presents an inspiring shared vision and sets some achievable goals aimed at transforming Wales into an enabling society.”

Jeff Cuthbert, the Labour minister for communities and tackling poverty, said: “We have worked closely with disabled people and disability organisations and listened to their needs to create this plan so that it reflects our shared vision for disabled people living in Wales.

“We are committed to taking action to bring down barriers and restrictions that prevent people achieving what they want and living how they wish.”

19 September 2013