Disability strategy fails to level up for disabled children

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Tags: disabled children's partnership, send, disability strategy, housing, accessibility

The government has unveiled its £1.6bn strategy to improve the lives of disabled people, but Contact believes that families with disabled children will be left waiting for more answers and support.

The government’s UK-wide strategy, first announced in the 2019 Conservative manifesto, aims to address barriers to education, working and housing. Plans include:

  • Increasing the supply of accessible housing for disabled people.
  • Improving accessibility at mainline railway stations.
  • Making it easier for disabled people to change jobs.

Amanda Batten, CEO of Contact and Chair of the Disabled Children’s Partnership, has responded to the strategy:

“We welcome the government’s stated ambition that disabled children and young people should have the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers. 

“However, the strategy doesn’t reflect the full lives of disabled children or their families. There is no recognition of health and care services that children and families need, how these interact with education, access to therapies and other aspects of day to day life. Once again children and families have to wait for the long-delayed SEND review in England and further plans in the other UK nations for more answers. 

“Disabled children and their families cannot wait any longer; the government must back up its strategy now with action and investment to help families recover from the pandemic and address long-standing shortfalls in funding and provision across education, health and social care.”