Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New Disability Action Plan consultation launched

The government has published a Disability Action Plan outlining how it aims to improve the lives of disabled people in the UK.

Tom Pursglove MP, Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work launched the consultation and invited responses to the proposals from interested parties, particularly disabled people and disabled people’s organisations across the UK.

He said: “We want disabled people to be at the heart of decision-making and I would encourage anyone interested to respond to this consultation so the views of disabled people across the country are front and centre of our final Disability Action Plan.”

There are 12 proposed new policies including raising awareness of assistive technology, accessible playgrounds, improving government engagement with disabled people on emergency planning as well as consulting on climate adaptations and mitigations.

Britain could host Special Olympics Summer Games

There is also a proposal centred around the feasibility of Great Britain hosting the Special Olympics Summer Games in 2031. The document said that the aim of hosting is to raise awareness of learning disabilities, drive greater grassroots participation and celebrate the wider world of human talents and potential.

Two task forces have also been proposed. One to improve the wellbeing and opportunities of disabled children. The proposed areas of focus would be: transitions to adulthood, accessibility of public spaces and transport, bullying, and personal safety.

The other taskforce is aimed at improving support for disabled parents. This includes access to parenting support in health and care services, family courts and child protection, and domestic abuse support.

Few commitments for adults with a learning disability

Learning disability charity Hft said it hoped the proposals would contribute towards a more equitable and accessible UK for all disabled people, but said it was disappointed to see that very few commitments and proposals relate specifically to learning disabled adults in the plan, which was a glaring oversight.

Kirsty Matthews, CEO of Hft, added: “It’s excellent to see that the government has ambitions to raise awareness around assistive technology and appoint an assistive technology champion as part of the civil service. At Hft, we recognise and work to deliver against the transformative impact assistive technology can have on the lives of individuals with a learning disability, supporting them to live independently and safely.

“The proposals around improving disability evidence and data is also a positive step. At present, a lack of good quality evidence and data means it is difficult for the government to develop or evaluate policies and services for disabled people.”

The action plan consultation will last for 12 weeks, and ends on 6 October.

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