Disability Rights UK Newsletter

Mental health services failing Disabled children

New research from the office of the Children’s Commissioner shows the number of children experiencing mental distress has increased sharply since 2017. The research also says over a third of children referred to mental health services are still waiting for treatment.

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK, said: “These are stark and unwelcome findings. If children can’t get the support they need when they need it, their education and general development is put at risk; and there may be longer term health challenges.”

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Disabled children have largest gap when it comes to exam grades

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has published new research which shows Disabled children have a huge gap in their exam grades compared to their peers. The report describes Government education policy as a ‘decade of failure’.

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK, said: “Yet again, we see how Disabled children and young people have lost out during the pandemic. The Government must do more to ensure Disabled children have the same life chances as non-disabled children.”

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Government ignores court defeat in Lords debate on National Disability Strategy

Members of the House of Lords have been condemned by Disability Rights UK for failing to address the High Court ruling which deemed the consultation on the National Disability Strategy unlawful.

The debate comes after the Department of Work and Pensions was denied permission to appeal against the High Court decision.

Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK, Fazilet Hadi, said “The debate was about the National Disability Strategy. With the lives of Disabled people worsening against almost every measure, a transformational Disability Strategy is needed more than ever.”

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Disabled people five times more likely to experience food poverty, says Food Foundation

The Food Foundation has published new research highlighting a sharp increase in the number of people experiencing food insecurity, up from 7.3% of households to 8.8% – or 4.7 million adults in the UK.

Food insecurity describes people who can’t afford food, or struggle to get access to regular meals.

Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “With rising energy bills, increasing inflation and benefits pegged at a horrendously low level, millions of Disabled people are living in conditions comparable to the nineteenth century workhouse.”

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DR UK Trustee wins Carer of the Year award

DR UK Trustee and Chair of the People and Governance Committee, Shelley Simmonds, has recently been honoured by charity Muscular Dystrophy UK as their Carer of the Year for her voluntary work during the lockdown.

Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said: “We’re delighted to see Shelley’s contribution recognised with this award.”

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Government broke public sector equality duty, High Court says

The former Health Secretary Matt Hancock broke the law because he ignored the public sector equality duty, according to a ruling by the High Court.

The case relates to the appointment of Dido Harding and Mike Coupe to their senior roles as part of the Government’s response to the during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK said: “The public sector equality duty is enshrined in legislation – it is not an optional extra.”

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Lords debate highlights unfairness of care cap

A recent debate on the Government’s proposals for funding social care incorporating a care cap has highlighted the negative impact on Disabled people of working age.

Disability Rights UK and Inclusion London are working together to support amendments to remove care charges for Disabled people of working age and asking Disabled People’s Organisations and Disabled people to help. Access the template letter here.

Dan White, Disability Rights UK’s Policy and Campaigns Officer said: “How can working age Disabled people contribute £86,000 from benefit income towards care, and at the same time live their lives and build a future? The proposals are wholly unfair.”

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Sense launches new football activities for people with complex impairments

Sense Active has launched a new programme aiming to improve the quality of football provision for people with complex disabilities, supported by county football associations and football club community organisations.

Michael Erhardt, Communications Officer at Get Yourself Active said: “Disabled people have a right to get active in a way that suits them, and the sensory football programme will make sure that people with complex disabilities can participate in, and enjoy, the beautiful game.”

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