The DPO Forum, of which NSUN is a member, has launched The Disabled People’s Manifesto.
About the Manifesto
There are 14 million Disabled people in the UK, and we make up a fifth of the population. We are not a homogenous group: we have different impairments, are different genders, sexual orientations, come from different backgrounds, and live different lives.
Some of us experience greater injustice, but we have many things in common. We all want to live in an inclusive society where everyone has a fulfilling life and feels connected and valued. We know our lives are not valued equally to others, we experience discrimination and oppression in our daily lives and disabling societal barriers to our inclusion and full participation.
Disabled people have been the hardest hit by austerity, the COVID pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis. Evidence shows that we are disproportionately living in poverty, achieving poorer outcomes in education and far more likely to be unemployed or earn less. Many of us are forced to live away from society, our communities and families in order to get support or education. Societal infrastructure, such as housing, transport and street environment, consistently fail to meet our needs.
We urge the next UK Government to institute a radical reform programme, to tackle disablist policy making and systemic oppression and injustice, to create a society where everyone has equal life chances and is valued and treated equally.
We want the government to accept that dismantling fundamental societal barriers we face requires significant investment. Simply put, austerity must end. Good public services are not a drain on the budget; they are an investment in everyone’s quality of life. We need a long-term Disability Strategy, co-produced with Disabled people and our organisations, that tackles the root causes of our oppression and delivers fundamental reform and investment to enable Disabled people of all ages, genders and backgrounds to thrive.
The Manifesto covers four key areas:
- Representation and voice: We want Disabled people to participate across all political and public roles, with the required adjustments put in place, so we can achieve real justice and equality.
- Rights: We want to fully enjoy all rights guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Discrimination we face in all areas of life must stop.
- Independence: We want the right to live independently with choice and control over the support we get.
- Inclusion: We want plans for every aspect of life to address specific needs of Disabled people from the outset.