The Public Sector in the UK has a proud record of developing disability equality schemes since 2005, developing training for all of their staff. In the current cuts environment, and the new reduced requirements of the single equalities act, this risks being dropped of the agenda.
It is vital to go against the stream and ensure that there is continued training and proper consultation on the key objectives in your equalities plan, which includes disabled people, and to ensure that every measure that is going to be implemented is open to wide and thorough consultation by including disabled people and their organisations.
The cuts that local government and local authorities have to make are falling disproportionately on disabled people:
-Lobby you local management committee, councillors, health board, etc – to ensure that they take measures to protect the provisions that have been put in place to provide equality for disabled people. Disabled people do not start from a level playing field, we start way behind, and therefore these positive action measures, that are allowed under the single equalities act need to be maintained and kept in place. You need to campaign to ensure this is there.
-Make sure that in the general public: Doctor’s surgeries, hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, town halls and service centres etc. are given information about the aims and objectives of this year’s UK Disability History Month. The aim is for this to be publicised as widely as possible so it can become a national event that can change national consciousness, improve the position of disabled people in society and stop discrimination and hate crime.