Scope open letter

Join me and sign @Scope’s open letter to the Prime Minister. The Government must not forget disability equality in the recovery plan, during the pandemic and beyond 📢 Together disabled people #WontBeForgotten

Disabled access and equality has been shelved. Access and equality is a right not a privilege.

Please see a copy of the letter:

Dear Prime Minister,

Coronavirus has devastated people’s lives, and amongst the hardest hit are the UK’s 14 million disabled people. Almost two thirds of people who have died because of Coronavirus were disabled. And now, with a looming recession and disabled people at the sharp end of poverty, we need the Government to take urgent action.

Months of feeling forgotten is taking its toll. Disabled people and their families have disproportionately faced loneliness and worsening mental health. Shielding may be pausing, but for millions of disabled people there is no pause button on their anxieties.

Before coronavirus, life for disabled people and their families was tough. The Government’s recovery plan has forgotten about disabled people, and risks making their lives even tougher. An equal society shouldn’t treat millions of disabled people as an afterthought.

Earlier this year, you wrote to all government departments instructing them to find ways to address inequalities and make the greatest contribution to the lives of disabled people. It is vital now that government delivers on this ambition.

Economic recovery is key, and disabled people must be included in this. The Government needs to safely support people back into work. The commitment to tackle the disability employment gap set out in the Conservative manifesto must be upheld. For those unable to work, the Government must guarantee a safety net which supports rather than punishes, without fear of ineffective sanctions.

We are calling on the Government to work with us to:

• Factor disabled people’s needs into every plan and change in regulations around the easing of lockdown from the start.

• Prioritise the vital National Disability Strategy. Ensure it provides a clear plan to mitigate existing inequalities the pandemic has further magnified.

It is crucial the Government provides a new deal for disabled people to show they won’t be forgotten in the Government’s recovery plan, and beyond. After enduring months of lockdown, disabled people must not be locked out of society.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Hodgkinson
Chief Executive

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