The Government has launched a new National Disability Strategy backed by £1.6 billion of investment and over 100 commitments to deliver a fairer society and new opportunities for disabled people following enormous public consultation.
The new plan includes:
Investing £300 million to create places, improve existing provision in schools and make accessibility adaptations for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
£573 million Disabled Facilities Grant to make changes like widening doors, installing ramps, fitting stair lifts or installing a downstairs bathroom in homes
Mandating that 10% of homes built through the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 will be for supported housing, boosting availability of good homes for those with additional needs. This target is designed to make more homes available to people with additional needs.
Piloting an Access to Work Adjustments Passport to help smooth the transition into employment and support people changing jobs.
The Disability Strategy also covers a range of other areas including access to justice, culture and the arts. It marks the first cross-government endeavour to improve disabled people’s everyday lives with legislation, policy and funding from across all corners of government.
Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, has strongly welcomed the announcement, saying:
“This new strategy will make a real difference to people’s lives across Harlow and the villages. I am particularly pleased to see the further £300 million investment into supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities following the £780 million investment last year. This is something that I have championed in Parliament - leading one of the biggest ever inquiries carried out by a Parliamentary Committee - to ensure that every child with SEND and their families have the support they need and deserve.
“A number of other measures announced will make genuine and tangible differences to ensure that every resident has the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity with job security and prosperity.”
Commenting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Just as our talented Paralympians are set to take the stage in Tokyo next month, at home we are harnessing that same ambition and spirit, to build a better and fairer life for all disabled people living in the UK.
“Our new National Disability Strategy is a clear plan – from giving disabled people the best start in school to unlocking equal job opportunities, this strategy sets us on a path to improve their everyday lives.”
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:
“For the first time, we have real cross-government focus, with clearly set out priorities and aims.
We are absolutely committed to putting disabled people at the heart of government policy making and service delivery. Their voices, insights and experiences are central to this strategy and our future approach.
“By engaging disabled people, their families, carers and organisations, collectively we will deliver real and lasting change.
“That’s empowered us to focus on the things disabled people tell us are most important to them, and crucially they’ll be able to hold us to account as we deliver real and lasting change.”