Government launches new National Disability Strategy

The government’s National Disability Strategy will seek to provide more accessible housing, easier commuting and better job prospects for millions of disabled people.

The strategy sets out 100 immediate commitments supported by £1.6 billion of funding alongside an ambitious agenda for future reform.

This includes consulting on introducing workforce reporting for businesses with more than 250 staff on the number of disabled people, launching a new online advice hub available to both disabled people and employers, which provides information and advice on disability discrimination in the workplace, flexible working and rights and obligations around reasonable adjustments, and piloting an Access to Work Adjustments Passport to help smooth the transition into employment and support people changing jobs.

The government will also be investing £300 million to create places, improve existing provision in schools and make accessibility adaptations for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Specifically on homes and transport, the strategy outlines promises to raise the accessibility requirements for new homes and adapt existing homes using the £573 million Disabled Facilities Grant, as well as mandate that 10 per cent of homes built through the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 will be for supported housing, boosting availability of good homes for those with additional needs. Ministers will also put in place measures for disabled passengers on rail to contact staff from their seat on the train with the new support in place by end of March 2022, with the Department for Transport supporting innovative projects that will improve communication for disabled passengers and others with reduced mobility on rail services.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Just as our talented Paralympians are set to take the stage in Tokyo next month, at home we are harnessing that same ambition and spirit, to build a better and fairer life for all disabled people living in the UK. Our new National Disability Strategy is a clear plan – from giving disabled people the best start in school to unlocking equal job opportunities, this strategy sets us on a path to improve their everyday lives.”

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The Security Event is set to be the first major exhibition to take place in the sector when it opens its doors on 7-9 September 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham and for the first time it will also encompass the National Cyber Security Show.

digitech21 will seek to demystify the increasingly complex technology landscape and will showcase a host of public sector best practice case studies and the very best solution providers, each of whom are helping organisations to transform and improve the way in which the public sector delivers services to the citizen.

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