From the Fibromyalgia News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton
Courtesy News Distribution Service for Government and Public Sector
Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (National)
The Government has highlighted progress towards achieving its ambition of equality for disabled people by 2025 with the publication of a series of reports from 11 Secretaries of State, the Office for Disability Issues’ (ODI) annual report and additional research about the Disability Equality Duty.
The reports by the 11 Secretaries of State are the first of their kind. They identify progress towards disability equality made by each department and where there are still issues to address. They also show how departments and public bodies will work strategically to introduce mechanisms for change. The ODI has produced an overview of the Secretary of State reports, highlighting key findings from each.
Also, the ODI annual report shows continuing work towards improving life chances for disabled people, including:
* £35 million committed to improving childcare provision for disabled children over the next three years
* An increase over the past year in the number of accessible buses, trains and stations
* Cross-government initiatives to improve recording and prosecution of disability-related hate crime
* A 20 per cent increase in the Disabled Facilities Grant in 2009, with a further six per cent scheduled for 2010
•A 60 per cent increase in disabled students’ allowances in the last year
The ODI has also published research on Disability Equality Duty implementation more generally across England, showing a growing awareness of disability equality issues and the value of involving disabled people in the development of Disability Equality Schemes.
Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, said: “This shows real progress towards realising our vision of disability equality by 2025 and reflects the hard work of many people across government. The Secretary of State reports are the first of their kind and illustrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring disabled people have the same chances in life as everyone else.”
Stephen Martin, Director of the Office for Disability Issues said: “These reports underscore the importance of proactively addressing the barriers that still keep many disabled people from reaching their full potential and realising their hopes, dreams and aspirations. We have made a lot of progress, but there is still much to be done. The ODI looks forward to continuing to work effectively with all of our partners in government and others to make the vision of equality by 2025 a reality.”
* The Office for Disability Issues was established in 2005 following a recommendation in the Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People report. It is a cross-government unit that works with all departments to help maintain the shared commitment to improving opportunities and outcomes for disabled people. http://www.odi.gov.uk.