Independent living strategy is probably on course, say experts


The government’s five-year independent living strategy is probably “on course”, according to the first report of a committee set up to scrutinise its progress.

The independent living scrutiny group (ILSG) chaired by Baroness [Jane] Campbell and only set up in June, concluded that it was too early to draw “meaningful conclusions” about progress as they were still awaiting much of the relevant data.

But she said that “overall…we are satisfied that, at this early stage, progress on the ILS can be considered to be on course”.

And she pointed to “signs of positive developments” since the cross-government strategy was launched in March 2008.

These include employment rates for disabled people rising from 47.8 per cent in 2007 to 48.5 per cent in 2009.

The report also welcomes participation rates in informal volunteering rising from 33 per cent in 2007/08 to 36 per cent in 2008/09, and the percentage of buses with low floor wheelchair access increasing regularly since 2001/02.

But Baroness Campbell says in the report that the group – whose members include some of the country’s leading disabled experts on independent living – were “concerned” that 23 per cent of disabled people say they do not frequently have choice and control over their lives.

She said the committee would be “looking for a significant reduction in this figure in the coming years”.

3 December 2009

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