Wales secures long-awaited independent living strategy


The announcement of a long-awaited strategy for promoting independent living in Wales has been welcomed by disabled campaigners.

The Welsh government announced plans to develop a new Framework for Action on Independent Living at a seminar organised by the disabled people’s organisation Disability Wales (DW), which has campaigned for a Welsh independent living strategy.

In a statement to the Welsh Assembly, Jane Hutt, the Welsh government minister whose responsibilities include equalities, said the framework would “underpin” the Welsh government’s actions under the Equality Act to advance disabled people’s equality of opportunity, eliminate discrimination and foster good relations.

The framework will identify areas where action is needed and bring together policies and strategies that support independent living into a “coherent delivery plan”.

DW’s chief executive, Rhian Davies, welcomed the announcement, which she said was “aimed at disabled people having greater control over their lives and the necessary support to live independently in the community”.

She added: “In these financially challenging times it is even more vital that services and facilities are designed and delivered in a way which responds to the needs of individuals and supports independence and inclusion rather than dependency and exclusion.”

In May, Davies told peers and MPs on the joint committee on human rights that Wales “appears to be the only country in the UK that doesn’t have an over-arching strategy on independent living”, which was “a huge loss for disabled people in Wales”.

The DW seminar in Newport was held to discuss the impact of welfare reform and cuts to public services on disabled people in Wales.

This weekend, DW will take part in one of a series of regional anti-cuts protests taking place under the Hardest Hit banner.

The Cardiff protest will take place on Saturday 22 October from 12.30pm and starts outside City Hall, Cathays Park.

20 October 2011