The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has today announced the Government’s new National Disability Strategy. This follows a commitment from the Prime Minister in 2019. You can read the strategy and the pledges within it here.
What is the National Disability Strategy?The strategy sets out the actions the Government will take to improve the everyday lives of all disabled people in the UK in an effort to improve accessibility and equity of opportunity for the UK’s 14million disabled people. Proposals will be presented to parliament today – before which the DWP has published the strategy on gov.uk, outlining plans to deliver more accessible housing, easier commuting and better job prospects for disabled people. The Government has pledged to review the plan annually to measure progress against each of the actions and commitments set out in the strategy.
What does the National Disability Strategy contain?The strategy contains 120 commitments across all aspects of life. Here are some of the key commitments that are relevant to Caudwell Children and our beneficiaries:
- More disability awareness training. This is such a welcome move – including the £3.82million of funding for schools and colleges in the next financial year – at Caudwell Children our beneficiaries have told us that lack of public understanding of their disability is the greatest barrier to them feeling included in society.
- A focus on creating inclusive environments and playgrounds. Since designing and building the Caudwell International Children’s Centre we have been working with partners to improve accessibility and inclusive design guidelines to be implemented across the construction industry.
- A commitment to train more educational psychologists. At Caudwell Children our in-house multi-disciplinary team work with schools and colleges and see first-hand how they implement Education, Health and Care plans (ECHP). Educational Psychologists play such a huge role in helping pupils with SEND get the support they need in education.
- Plans for a consultation on mandatory workforce reporting on disability for large employers. This would take a similar approach to gender pay gap reporting. At Caudwell Children we support businesses to achieve effective diversity and inclusion programmes, and deliver a Digital Skills and Employability Programme where we see first-hand how many barriers are in place for disabled young people trying to access the workplace.
- The introduction of an ‘Access to Work Adjustments Passport’. This is also relevant to our Digital Skills and Employability Programme as it would allow disabled people to take adaptations from one job, or training programme, to the next.