What the manifestos say about disability…
Last week, the main political parties in England and Wales launched their manifestos. Disability Rights UK (which Livability is a member of) have produced a comprehensive summary document on the key policies and how it will impact disabled people.
Disability Rights UK: http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2015/april/election-manifestos-2015
As part of Livability’s pre-election activity, we have spoken to a number of our residents across our services to find out what issues matter most and what policies they would like to see introduced in the future. Here are some of the highlights from the various parties’ manifestos as highlighted by our service users and staff:
- Improving accessibility on public transport including making more stations wheelchair accessible and prioritising wheelchair users over buggies
- Tackling the discrimination by private hire vehicles and taxis against wheelchair users and introducing compulsory disability awareness training for taxis
- To significantly review the Work Capability and Personal Independence Payment assessments including the exemption of people with severe disabilities whose conditions are unlikely to change
- To reinstate the Independent Living Fund
- To recognise the rights of disabled children and their families to access the support they need across of a range of areas including education, transition to adulthood, healthcare and navigating the welfare system.
- To ensure the needs of disabled people are considered in the allocation of existing and creation of future homes
- Ensure disabled people are entitled to a personal care plan shaped by and with them according to their needs, with the option of personal budgets where appropriate
- Better support for disabled people to access employment opportunities
- Increase opportunities for participation and inclusion of disabled people in local communities
- To champion the rights of disabled people as outlined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Stephen Springer MBE, Lead Officer for Service Involvement, said: ‘Having spoken to many of the residents at our services it seems clear that issues of accessibility remain a concern. Similarly, policies to increase the provision of Accessible Housing (such as enforcing Life Time Home Standards and creating proper Accessible Housing registers) would meet the needs of our customers who live in the community. Disabled people generally would welcome a review and improvement of the procedures for navigating the welfare system as proposed by some of the parties. We hope that parliamentary representatives from May 2015 will recognise these issues and work to resolve them.’