Skip to main content

Which way for a national disability strategy?

Read the briefing note here (PDF). (pdf), File Download

We welcome the Government’s 2019 manifesto commitment to publish a National Strategy for Disabled People before the end of 2020, which is now overdue, but an ambitious approach is needed. Most governments in the world, and devolved governments in the UK, publish disability strategies and periodic action plans to implement them. The last national update to strategy was in 2013-14.

In 2019, the Queen’s Speech promised that:

“Our strategy will be ambitious, supporting disabled people in all aspects and phases of their life. The strategy will set out practical proposals on the issues that matter most to disabled people and we will use all the levers of Government to support disabled people to achieve their potential.”

In a new briefing note we highlight some of our priorities for the development of this strategy. We welcome open dialogue on the evidence base and the policy choices arising from this.

  • The strategy should be based on the understanding that disability arises from barriers to full participation and equality in society, both physical and social barriers.
  • The strategy should be aligned with the UK’s existing commitments to principles of international law.
    A national disability strategy is not only ‘for disabled people’ but also for a more equal, accessible and inclusive society that benefits everyone.
  • The active involvement of disabled people and their organisations should be a prominent feature in the strategy’s development, implementation, and outcome monitoring.
  • A national strategy must acknowledge, and target actions to mitigate, the most pressing risks of inequality facing disabled people in the UK, including the risks of poverty and social exclusion.
  • The national strategy should promote a methodology of mainstreaming disability equality in all major initiatives of government.
    All major government departments and devolved administrations should have ownership and accountability for the development and delivery of a national strategy.
  • National strategy needs to be underpinned by an appropriate evidence base and a structured commitment to monitor progress against robust indicators.