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National Disability Strategy 'falls short' of what disabled people expected and deserve

Scope has responded to the Government's National Disability Strategy.

Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive at disability equality charity Scope, said:

“The Government promised a National Disability Strategy that will truly transform the lives of disabled people in this country. The reality is closer to a one-year action plan.

“Many of the short-term commitments made are to be welcomed, but the strategy as a whole falls short of the transformational plan that many disabled people expected and deserve. Unless we get clear detail beyond the next 12 months, it is difficult to see how life will be significantly different for the next generation of disabled people.

“There are areas that are promising, such as the commitment to get companies reporting on disability figures in the workplace, the creation of an accessible technology centre, action to improve public transport, and a taskforce to look at the extra costs that disabled people face.

“However, there are areas where the strategy doesn't go far enough, even in this first year. Disabled children and their families will gain little from this strategy beyond tweaks to the education system. And Government has failed to set out how and when it intends to close the disability employment gap.

“The money earmarked to deliver the strategy is sadly not sufficient for long term transformational change, and in many cases is not ‘new’ money. Investing in disabled people can have a hugely positive impact to our country, to our economy and to disabled people’s living standards. Therefore, further investment must be prioritised as part of the upcoming spending review.

“Scope will seek to work constructively with government to make sure this current plan is properly funded and, to make sure it goes significantly beyond a one-year plan to a truly transformational strategy for the lives of disabled people and their families.”

For more information contact the Scope press office on 0207 619 7702 or email pressoffice@scope.org.uk

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