Postcards to Gordon fuel campaign for support


Campaigners have visited Downing Street to try to push the government to back a bill that would give disabled people a legal right to independent living.

The group from the disability charity Scope delivered a box to 10 Downing Street containing at least 2, 000 postcards calling on the prime minister to improve support for disabled people to live independently.

They want Gordon Brown to back the disabled persons (independent living) bill and provide more funding for councils to support disabled people.

The private members’ bill aims to ensure that disabled people enjoy “the same choice, freedom, dignity, control” and opportunities as non-disabled people.

It includes measures to: make it unlawful for a disabled person to have to live in a care home against their will; force local authorities to provide a list of accessible housing, and match up available properties with disabled people looking for accessible homes; and give disabled people the right to accessible information about the services they receive.

The bill has been passed by the House of Lords, where it was re-introduced by Lord [Jack] Ashley last December, and is now being promoted by Labour MP Roger Berry in the Commons. It is due for its second Commons reading on 16 October.

Rosemary Bolinger, a Scope trustee, said hundreds of thousands of disabled people have little or no support to allow them to take part in everyday activities.

She added: “This bill is crucial if disabled people are to be able to live where they want and have more influence over many other major decisions that affect their lives.”

1 September 2009