Govt Launches New National Disability Strategy
The government has published its new National Disability Strategy, setting out 100 immediate commitments to be made, supported by £1.6 billion in funding and an ambitious agenda for future reform.
It includes plans to upgrade job support and opportunities, as well as housing and transport, while improving accessibility of homes around the country. Some £300 million has also been set aside to support children with special educational needs and disabilities in schools, as well as an online work passport to help students move from education to the world of work.
The strategy also focuses on improving inclusion in the workplace, tackling the disability employment gap – which is currently at 28.6 per cent – head on.
To ensure that disabled people are able to live in homes that have been adapted to their needs, action is now being taken to raise the accessibility requirements for new builds, as well as adapting existing homes to make changes such as installing downstairs bathrooms, fitting stairlifts, installing ramps and widening doors.
In addition, it will mandate that ten per cent of homes built through the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme will be for supported housing.
Therese Coffee, work and pensions secretary, said: “The result of an unprecedented endeavour across government, this national strategy will help level up opportunity and improve the everyday experience of disabled people, whether that is at home; travelling on public transport; using the local high street or going online; enjoying culture, the arts or the great outdoors; and exercising civic roles like jury service and voting.”
This comes after the government also unveiled £30 million in funding to install Changing Places toilets in existing buildings across England, with the aim being to provide larger accessible toilets and equipment like hoists, curtains, space for carers and adult-sized changing benches.
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