The national disability strategy is facing further delays – originally, it was to be published for Spring, 2021
The national disability strategy has now been further delayed.
According to Disability News Service, disability organisations were told over the last few days that the strategy would be published this week. Now, Minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, says that the strategy will be available “later this year.”
When was the strategy due?
On 2 April, 2021, a Government press release said that “the coronavirus pandemic is the current priority for the government” and proposed that plans would be delayed, to “have enough time to get this right.”
The strategy is expected to outline special education needs, disability funding, careers advice, internships and “further opportunities to improve” the lives of disabled people.
The release then pinned the slow development of the national disability strategy on stakeholder engagement, essentially asking for more time due to a desire to be more engaged with disabled people and “other” stakeholders.
New green paper instead?
A green paper on health and disability was released two days ago, which outlines more ambitions for the eventual strategy.
There are concerns about how the UK Government will reshape disability benefits. The green paper states: “The amount of public money we spend on benefits for disabled people and people with health conditions is growing every year, and it is vital we ensure that this money is spent in the most effective way possible.”
Commenting on the green paper, which will now be reviewed by disability organisations, Minister Tomlinson further said: “The experiences of disabled people and people with health conditions have shaped the ideas, proposals and questions in this Green Paper, following a significant programme of more than 40 events where people have shared with us their views on the benefits system and their priorities for change.”
Currently, the national disability strategy has been in limbo for ten years.
The DSN reports that the last disability strategy, Fulfilling Potential, was launched in December 2011. There were no updates as of November 2015, until the new disability strategy was proposed.