‘Better Working with Disabled People’ consultation
Inclusion London has responded to the Office of Disability Issues Fulfilling Potential: Making it Happen – Better Working with Disabled people.
The Better Working with Disabled People consultation asked what should replace Equality 2025 so the government can, ‘strengthen and broaden input in policy development from the lived experience of disabled people’.
Equality 2025 was an independent advisory body composed of Disabled people, sponsored by the Office of Disability Issues.
The purpose of Equality 2025 was to provide strategic advice to Ministers and senior officials across government to ‘support the journey towards equality between disabled and non-disabled people in the UK’.
The government abolished Equality 2025 only two months after the review, which gave no time to put an alternative in place before Equality 2025 closed. There will be a considerable time gap between the end of Equality 2025 and the new consultation mechanism. This gap seems all too convenient as radical policies can be pushed forward without due scrutiny or comment by disabled people at an early stage. This evokes a degree of scepticism about the coalition government’s commitment to involve Disabled people in policy making and also whether government will provide the resources needed to make any future initiative effective.
Inclusion London’s recommendations
Inclusion London recommendations included the proposal that two groups; the Policy Forum and the Expert Advice Group replace Equality 2025. The Policy Forum should be composed of Deaf and Disabled people and representatives of Deaf and Disabled people’s organisations.
Members of the Expert Advice Group should be Deaf and Disabled people with a particular area of expertise such as education, employment or Independent Living. Members of the Policy Advice Group should also sit on the Policy Forum and membership of the Policy Advice Group should be by an interview process only. Inclusion London also recommended additional principles to those proposed in the consultation document. Inclusion London believes that it is crucial that clear lines of communication are put in place with government departments and a clear, flexible work plan is put in place. See the full response for details.
The response is available below.