There can be no doubt that 2013 is already proving to be another tough year for many disabled people. Welfare and social care reforms continue to gain momentum and we’re already seeing an impact on quality of life for many families and individuals. We are particularly concerned that disabled people are being overlooked in the discussions about changes to the social care system and are part of a major campaign across the disability sector to address this. And locally, we know that cuts to care packages and the rollout of the Work Capability Assessment continue to cause anxiety for a huge number of people.
Against this backdrop, I am more aware than ever about the need for Scope to move with the times. The strategic direction we launched last year is all about creating a better society for disabled people and their families. We are now beginning to turn this direction into action. At the start February, we spent a valuable day with our Scope Assembly members discussing the strategic theme of ‘Living independently in the community’. We gathered some very useful ideas. One of the things we know we need to address is how we support people with the most complex needs to gain greater independence, ensuring that they have access to all the support that they (and their families and carers) need to achieve this.
It’s important that we think about all of these things. We have to respond to what is happening now, influencing decision makers and helping to ensure that disabled people’s voices are heard. At the same time, we need to look to the future, being willing to ask the big questions and take bold decisions. We will continue to do both of these things throughout 2013 and will continue to keep you updated.
Thank you, as always, for your support.