The government is being urged to restore the rights of disabled people in advance of the House of Commons debate on the six-month review of the Coronavirus Act which will take place on 30 September 2020.
A group of over 60 organisations including Disability Rights UK, Inclusion London, Liberty and Mind and individuals have signed an open statement asking the government to withdraw the sections of the Act relating to disabled people and to restore their rights.
The Coronavirus Act contains provisions allowing local authorities to reduce vital social care duties, weakens support and education for disabled children and young people, and enables the removal of basic legal safeguards that could severely impact the rights of people coming into contact with the mental health system.
You can find more information about the impact of the easements in education and social care in the briefings below:
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on disabled people. Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that disabled people have made up two thirds of all Coronavirus deaths and people with health conditions have been the hardest-hit. Research by Mencap revealed care packages have been halved for most people with learning difficulties and Care Quality Commission (CQC) figures show deaths of people with learning difficulties receiving care rose by 134%. Likewise the number of deaths for people detained under the Mental Health Act has more than doubled mainly because of Covid-19 related deaths.
Inclusion London’s report Abandoned, Forgotten and Ignored paints a stark picture of disabled people’s experiences during the pandemic. Many Disabled people were left without essential social care support and struggled to access food and healthcare.
The Disabled Children’s Partnership found that 76% of families say ALL support has stopped since lockdown. Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) survey found that 83% of parents were expected to home school their disabled children. The majority of disabled pupils and students have been left without any education because of the inaccessibility of remote education.
To write a letter to your MP see this template from The Action Network.
Click here to read a non-governmental organization (NGO) statement which was supported by Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) and now by charities and human rights organisations. A form is available on the website for other organisations and individuals to sign.