In news

New plans to improve the lives of disabled people have been set out by the government with a consultation on the plans launched to bring together ideas and action across the UK. Plans include making disability awareness training for taxi drivers mandatory and creating autism friendly programmes for cultural and heritage sites to follow, they were designed by ministers to make the UK more inclusive in the long term. The proposals will inform the Government’s Disability Action Plan which will be released later this year.

Immediate and practical measures proposed include ensuring businesses are aware of people’s needs, including the needs of those using Guide Dogs, to allow all disabled people to live, work and shop freely and to provide support to local authorities to ensure that play parks they build or refurbish are suitable for disabled children.

Other measures include:

Raising the profile of assistive technology

Legislating for mandatory disability awareness training for taxi and private hire drivers

Encouraging autism friendly programmes in the cultural and heritage sectors

Improving reasonable adjustments to the court system so more disabled people can be on juries

Implementing a British Sign Language GCSE

Exploring the feasibility of Great Britain hosting the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2031.

The Disability Action Plan sits alongside the Government’s National Disability Strategy which sets out our longer term vision to improve disabled people’s lives for the better.

The Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Tom Pursglove MP said: “Our Disability Action Plan will lay out practical measures we can implement here and now to improve the lives of disabled people. From leading the way globally with assistive technology to improving inclusivity and accessibility across sport, travel and culture, the Plan will also be important in setting the stage for longer term change.

“We want disabled people to be at the heart of decision making and I would encourage anyone interested to respond to this consultation so the views of disabled people across the country are front and centre of our Disability Action Plan.”

The plan builds on the Government’s achievements over the last year on education, work, leisure and rights for disabled people, including the Down Syndrome Act and the British Sign Language Act. This focus on disability as also ensured that over 2000 miles of King Charles III’s England Coast Path is accessible and an additional £1 billion has been included in the education of children and young people with complex needs.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and be open for anyone to comment, this will ensure the Plan is informed by the experience and views of disabled people, organisations and charities, as well as other interested parties.

The consultation will end on 6th October 2023.