The long-awaited National Disability Strategy for Disabled People is not the transformative agenda promised by the Prime Minister, health and welfare charity Leonard Cheshire has said.
The charity was one of the leading disability organisations in the UK that recently wrote to the Prime Minister with deep concerns about a lack of long-term vision in the new strategy, as well as the need for increased consultation with disabled individuals and organisations to create a blueprint for the future.
Ruth Owen OBE, CEO of Leonard Cheshire, said: “The Prime Minister told us these reforms would be the most ambitious in a generation, but this strategy doesn’t live up to that billing. While some aspects are positive first steps, it comes up short on actual commitments and is lacking in the vision to truly transform the experience of disabled people in their daily lives.
“If this is to become a bold blueprint for a better future, co-designing indicators for success with disabled people is crucial.
“For this strategy to lead to meaningful change, we need to work together to set out clear overarching goals and metrics, underpinning future strategy with concrete funding commitments because there is little in the way of timescales or targets.
“We welcome some measures, such as the consultation on mandatory workforce reporting, additional support for disabled jobseekers, and the commitment to addressing the assistive and accessible technology skills gap.
“But social care reform is barely mentioned, an omission that will be a huge disappointment to the large number of disabled people who rely on it as an enabler of greater independence, choice and control in their lives.”
Owen said the annual nature of the National Disability Strategy offers further opportunity to collaborate and hold the government to account.
“We will continue to work with disabled people, Government, business and other disability organisations to maximise this strategy moving forward,” she said.