Crippen and the National Disability Strategy Survey – Part 2

Following on from my last Blog about the National Disability Strategy Survey (NDS), several disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) have complained directly to Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled People.

The complaint is not only about the lack of prior consultation and notification about the launch of the Survey, but also about the ridiculously short timescale for Disabled people to respond.

Although the survey will be open until 23 April 2021, only responses received before 13 February 2021 will inform the development of the National Strategy, while those received after this date will only be used to inform its delivery.

ALLFIE, Inclusion London, and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA), have joined together to complain and Joe Whittaker, ALLFIE Trustee, explains:

“There is a clear failure of the Disability Unit to demonstrate meaningful engagement with DPOs and take seriously the essential contributions we can offer.”

The Disability Unit in the Cabinet Office claims it is: “working with government colleagues, disabled people, disabled people’s organisations, charities and businesses to develop and deliver a National Strategy for Disabled People.” However, as we all know, this is not the case.

In the letter to Tomlinson, calling for a deadline extension and engagement with Disabled People’s Organisations, Tracey Lazard on behalf of Inclusion London told him:

“I am frankly shocked and dismayed to receive this (information) in the light of the fact that at no point have we received any information, either in writing or at the DPO forum meetings, that the 13 Feb mentioned is the cut off period for feeding into the development of the strategy.

“Nor have we received any written information about the NDS or how the government plans to engage Disabled people and DPOs in its development … We have consistently requested that the DPO forum is organised and planned in a way that will facilitate DPOs strategic engagement in the NDS (as well as requesting basic improvements to the forum like minutes being taken which has to date not happened!) but no changes have been made. This presents a huge lost opportunity for DPOs to feed into the strategy.

“The decision to cancel the last two DPO forums in December and January without explanation were deeply frustrating but now in the light of this cut off period it is inexplicable that these meetings have been cancelled so close to the Feb deadline given this is the only way DPOs can engage directly with the disability unit and the Minister.

“The above can only be described as a failure to carry out the most basic engagement with Disabled people and our organizations in what will be the first disability strategy since 2011.

“Considering we are still in an ongoing pandemic in which nearly 60% of COVID related deaths are Disabled people and given the significant body of evidence that shows Disabled people are now experiencing deeper structural inequality that is eroding our quality of life and putting back our rights and inclusion it is absolutely vital that there is real and meaningful engagement between DPOs and the Government in the development of the NDS.

Given the above I am formally requesting that the NDS development period is extended and that the disability unit draws up a plan for specific DPO engagement to take place in this extended development phase.”

Members of the group report that they have not yet had a response to these concerns.  They urge other DPOs to share and support their concerns and stand in solidarity.

A full explanation of ALLFIE’s involvement and how you can obtain more information is available on their web site (please click here).

In Solidarity.

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

Justin Tomlinson is standing with a crystal ball on a table in front of him. His hands are wrapped around it and he is wearing a head scarf and golden hooped earrings. A sign saying ‘Madam Tomlinson’ is placed in front of him and another sign saying ‘Disability Unit’ is on the wall behind him. He is saying: “It saves me having to consult with any disabled people!”

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by A6er on 29/01/2021 at 19:36

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .


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