Disability equality charity Scope has issued an open letter to the Prime Minister, in which it and other campaigners are demanding Boris Johnson and the Government do more to take care of the disabled population during the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity cited a number of worrying statistics regarding disabled people in the UK and how they are coping with the COVID-19 outbreak.
It wrote: “41% think life will be worse for disabled people after the pandemic and a third think that disabled people are less likely to be treated equally.
“Shockingly, almost two thirds of people who have died from coronavirus were disabled,” it added.
The open letter highlights the neglect disabled people and their families have faced during the crisis and the fear that a looming recession will exacerbate existing inequalities.
Campaigners are demanding that the National Disability Strategy, which has been delayed by government, be prioritised to show that disabled people won’t be forgotten in the government’s recovery plan.
Organisations including MND Association, National Autistic Society, Parkinson’s UK and The Business Disability Forum joined forces with disability campaigners such as Baroness Jane Campbell, Richard Herring, Sophie Morgan, Samantha Renke and Lee Ridley to sign the letter.
Mark Hodgkinson, chief executive at disability equality charity Scope, said: “On entering Downing Street, the Prime Minister made a commitment to launch a National Disability Strategy that would make life better for disabled people. But coronavirus has magnified the societal and economic barriers that disabled people already face and risks turning back the clock on disability equality.
“Scope’s findings reveal that many disabled people are worried about life after lockdown. Shielding may be set to pause, but for millions of disabled people at greater risk of coronavirus their fears have not been taken into account and they feel overlooked.
“Scope is uniting with charities and disability campaigners to call for clear and urgent action from government to show they haven’t forgotten disabled people. The government must prioritise the National Disability Strategy and make sure that disabled people are factored into all recovery plans. The government must protect disabled people’s rights and needs at every turn, through the pandemic and beyond.”