Post from Alice Maynard – Scope Chair
This has been a tough year for many. Half of all disabled people can’t find work, and of those who are employed, one in two work in low-paid, short-term and part-time roles. In a typical job, a disabled man’s annual earnings are £1,700 less than his non-disabled counterpart. For a disabled woman, the gap is more like £5,000. Disabled people are twice as likely to live below the poverty line as everyone else.
Nearly two thirds of all disabled people report hostility, aggression or name-calling because of their disability. Disabled people are more likely to experience crime than the rest of the country, especially young disabled people, who are eight percent more likely to be victims of crime. The continuing economic situation and government cuts are exacerbating these already substantial problems.
But the fact that times are tough means it’s even more important for Scope to be strong, positive and effective. Over the last year, I believe we have lived up to that. For example, we influenced the Government’s reversal of their decision to abolish the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance for people in residential care. We supported thousands of disabled adults and families with our services. In particular, we secured new funding for our Face 2 Face servicesthat support families in crisis to get through difficult times. Perhaps most importantly, we launched a bold new strategy for making change happen across society over the coming years. Armed with that strategy, I genuinely believe we should be optimistic that, together, we can rise above the current hardships and create a better future.
We have been making positive change happen for 60 years now. I know that many of you have played key roles in getting Scope to where we are today – a bold and ambitious organisation, providing direct support for thousands of people and influencing many more. Thank you for your support over the years and into the future – it really does make a huge difference.
With best wishes for Christmas and New Year,