Scope response to coronavirus crisis
19 March 2020
Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of disability equality charity Scope, said:
“The Government must consider the UK’s 14million disabled people in every decision it makes in tackling the coronavirus crisis.
“Many disabled people have specific concerns about the virus, which need to be urgently and directly addressed.
“There is still far too much ambiguity about what disabled people should and should not do.
“Vital information and advice needs to be clearer, with specific reference to disabled people.
“Government updates must also be shared in an accessible format, including BSL interpreters and captions on videos, so nobody misses out on crucial information.
“The Government needs to reassure disabled people they will continue to receive the support they need throughout the crisis.
“The social care system is already stretched and under severe pressure. Disabled people who rely on this support are deeply worried about a shortage of carers due to illness, and the impact self-isolation will have on their ability to do the basics in life.
“The Government must also reassure disabled people they will have a stable income, whether through Statutory Sick Pay or welfare payments.
“Many disabled people already struggle to make ends meet because of the extra costs they face. This crisis is only likely to make that harder, so the Government needs to make sure disabled people aren’t financially penalised.
Access to essentials
“Everyone needs to play their part in supporting disabled people during this difficult time, and clearer Government advice to businesses and the public is much needed.
“Many disabled people are worried about panic buying leading to a lack of essential supplies and a scarcity of supermarket home-delivery slots.
“To the wider public, we urge you to think carefully about what you genuinely need, so that nobody misses out on essentials.
“Every individual’s actions can make a difference.”
19 March 2020