With the government encouraging us all to get back into the office, disabled people are rightly anxious about returning to work.
This week, as part of Scope’s We Won’t Be Forgotten campaign, the disability equality charity is delivering an open letter to Boris Johnson signed by 30,000 disability campaigners calling for a “new deal for disabled people to show they won’t be forgotten in the Government’s recovery plan, and beyond”.
This is something I cannot welcome too much, as throughout the pandemic I’ve had to watch with frustration and anger as the government have done nothing to help those left most vulnerable by the virus. As the world went into lockdown – when the government should have been doing everything to ensure disabled people weren’t left without support, food, care, health care and money – to many it felt like we were instead just shut up inside for five months.
Back in February, before coronavirus crisis hit the UK, Johnson wrote to his Cabinet and said he wanted his government, through a National Disability Strategy, to transform the lives of disabled people.
As a disabled person who’s lived under a Conservative government for my whole adult life, I was sceptical but held out hope. The pandemic would’ve been the perfect time to provide more care for disabled people – we were at our most vulnerable after all. But that didn’t happen.
The pandemic would’ve been the perfect time to provide more care for disabled people... But that didn’t happen.
When the government promised help to get us back out into the world I expected then that Johnson would announce some support for disabled people – maybe extra money to get specialists into health centres into the community after we’ve had next to no health care for the last six months? Instead he gave people money off eating out at restaurants.
Thankfully, Rishi Sunak is pledging to help businesses return “back to normal”. Great! Does this mean more provisions to allow...