We want the next government to deliver Everyday Equality with disabled people. It must put the interests of disabled people at the heart of its agenda, and deliver meaningful change over the next five years to tackle the barriers that prevent disabled people from participating fully in society.
A key part of Everyday Equality is having the right support to live the life of your own choosing. However, there are still a range of barriers that make this difficult for disabled people, from inadequate social care provision, to inaccessible physical environments and digital exclusion.
That’s why we are calling on the next government to ensure disabled people have the support to live independently.
Increasing investment in social care
Social care is an essential public service that supports disabled people to get up, get dressed and get out of the house.
Around a third of social care users in England are working-age disabled people. However, we know that more than half are not receiving the right care to support them to live independently.
This means not enough disabled care users are getting the support they need to live independently, work, volunteer, and live full, meaningful lives.
In order to ensure disabled people are getting the right level of support, it is crucial that the issue of inadequate funding in social care is addressed. Whilst we have seen some recent investment, the funding gap in our social care system is estimated to rise to £2.8 billion by 2020.
That’s why we are calling on the next government to increase investment in social care so that disabled people of all ages are able to access the support they need to live independent lives.
Improving access to everyday services
Living independently means being to have choice and control over your life, whether as a consumer, whilst travelling, or whilst socialising.
However, we know that disabled people often face barriers in accessing day-to-day markets, services and amenities.
For instance, less than a quarter of disabled people think the accessibility of pubs, restaurants, clubs and shops has improved since 2012. In the digital world, 25 per cent of disabled adults have never used the internet compared to 6 per cent of non-disabled adults, often due to a lack of digital skills or inaccessible websites. This means disabled people are more likely to miss out on the best deals and offers which are commonly found online.
We want the next government to ensure equal access to goods and services for disabled people by increasing compliance with the Equality Act, and tackling the digital divide between disabled people and non-disabled people.
Tell us what living independently means to you
What does living independently mean to you? What would getting the right support from social care enable you to do? Email the stories team and tell us your experience – firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #EverydayEquality.