Disability Rights UK Critical Of Inaccessible Government Survey

The government’s Disability Unit is currently running an online survey which will help to shape the forthcoming National Strategy for Disabled People. Comments must be received by 13 February in order for them to be taken on board before the publication of the Strategy.

Here’s is Disability Rights UK’s understandably angry response to the limited accessibility of the survey:

Following calls from DR UK that the survey needed a longer response time and more accessible formats, including offline formats, the Disability Unit has written back to us to clarify which formats are available.

It says that a Word document and Easy Read documents are available and that “you can print the documents off, fill in your responses and post them to the Disability Unit, Cabinet Office,10 Victoria Street, Westminster SW1H 0NB.”

It says that it has “made it easy for you to tell us that a parent, carer or any other person is supporting you. There is a box to let us know that someone is supporting you with filling in the form.

“If you are unable or would prefer not to complete this survey but would like to contribute your views on the National Strategy, please post your thoughts to the Disability Unit Cabinet Office,10 Victoria Street, Westminster SW1H 0NB.

“The survey is available in BSL videos with additional subtitling and voiceover. You can also request a braille format of the survey at ducitizenspace@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. If you are blind or partially sighted and are having difficulty filling in the online survey you can email the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) for advice or support at campaigns@rnib.org.uk.”

DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “It is immensely frustrating that a survey designed for Disabled people is inaccessible to millions. Being able to respond by email or phone must be options. Providing solely online communication is not acceptable.

“The survey’s purpose appears to be more about gathering insight into our lives rather than asking us as Disabled people what should be in the Disability Strategy. Six weeks from the Strategy being published, this seems very strange and doesn’t constitute true engagement with Disabled people.

DR UK’s Our Voices group is calling on the government to delay the Disability Strategy pending a full and open engagement with disabled people.”

Read Our Voices’ letter to the Government about its concerns.