By Andrew Holt
Disability charity Scope has responded to the Government publishing its disability strategy, Fulfilling Potential.
The Government today published two documents which set out its approach to the commitment to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and play a full role in society.
Fulfilling Potential - the Discussions So Far: summarises what disabled people and their organisations have told us, highlights actions already planned and actions underway across Government showing how we are already addressing many of the issues raised.
To complement this, and ensure transparency we have published all of the written responses to the discussion document online.
The Government has also published Fulfilling Potential – Next Steps which outlines our strategic narrative and areas for action.
It sets out the principles that will guide the Government’s future work in supporting disabled people to realise their aspirations, promote a fair and equal society and create more inclusive communities.
Key elements of that are:
A new cross sector disability action alliance involving disabled people, their organisations, and others from the public, private and voluntary and community sectors will work together to identify and deliver the change needed to bring about equality of opportunity for disabled people;
Public service reform which will support disabled people’s independence and participation;
A new partnership approach which will see disabled people having much more influence in the design and delivery of services, so they are better able to challenge where things are not delivering the outcomes they need.
In response, Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said: "We wholeheartedly agree that the Paralympics has had an impact on the way people view disability, and that we need to build on the momentum.
"There has been a lot of discussion about the legacy of the Games. We believe that the legacy of the Games should be a Britain where we focus on what disabled people can – rather than can't – do.
"This new cross-government disability strategy is the perfect opportunity for the Government to seize the initiative, and bring the issues that are important to disabled people to prominence within the corridors of power and beyond.
"We hope that the new Minister will champion disabled people and use this strategy to put the day-to-day reality of disabled people's lives at the centre of policy making.
"This is a critical time for disabled people. Disabled people are facing spiralling living costs at the same time as their financial support and local social services are falling away.
"We hope to work with the Minister so that the disability strategy becomes a starting point for the Government to put in place the support disabled people need to achieve their aspirations in all walks of life."
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