Update on strategy for supporting people with disabilities
The government published documents that reported progress on, and updated, its cross-departmental strategy for supporting people with disabilities.
Source: Fulfilling Potential: Making it happen — Strategy progress update, Department for Work and Pensions
An article examined the development of the disability movement in Britain. The article argued that it could be divided into two distinct phases, with the first seen as a civil rights movement and the latest phase being a response to the recent and ongoing government spending cuts, with contemporary activists having consciously positioned as part of a wider resistance to austerity.
Source: Roddy Slorach, 'Out of the shadows: disability movements', Critical and Radical Social Work, Volume 2 Number 2
A report provided findings from a project that examined hate crime, looking at: people's experiences of hate, prejudice, and targeted hostility; the physical and emotional harms suffered by victims and their families; and ways in which to improve the quality of support offered to victims. A series of briefings were published alongside the main findings, together with a 'manifesto', which set out victim-centred recommendations based on the needs and expectations of those whose lives had been directly affected by hate crime.
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Findings and Conclusions, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 1: Disablist hate crime, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 2: Gendered hostility, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 3: Homophobic hate crime, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 4: Racist hate crime, University of Leicester
Source: The Leicester Hate Crime Project, Briefing Paper 5: Religiously motivated hate crime, University of Leicester
An article examined estimates of societal economic costs, including indirect costs, associated with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. It said that the cost of lifetime support for an individual with an ASD and intellectual disability was over $2 million in the United States and ï¿½1.5 million in the United Kingdom. It said that the largest cost components for children were special education services and parental productivity loss, while for adults the highest costs related to supported accommodation/residential care and individual productivity loss, and medical costs were much higher than for children. It discussed implications for policy, including in addressing the impact on parents.
Source: Ariane Buescher, Zuleyha Cidav, Martin Knapp, and David Mandell, 'Costs of autism spectrum disorders in the United Kingdom and the United States', Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics, Volume 168 Issue 8
A report examined the challenges for Black, Asian, and minority-ethnic (BAME) families in England who were affected by autism. It said that such families found particular difficulties with achieving a diagnosis, in accessing the services they needed, and in feeling supported by their local communities. It recommended that local authorities and clinical commissioning groups should: identify the needs of local BAME populations; ensure that culturally appropriate services were available; and monitor their effectiveness. It identified a role for central government to: monitor local action; provide relevant guidance to local authorities; and support further research in this area.
Source: Guy Slade, Diverse Perspectives: The challenges for families affected by autism from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, National Autistic Society
A report examined progress against the aims of the 2008 Independent Living Strategy. It said that there was no evidence of significant progress in improving choice and control and, although there had been an increase in the use of personal budgets for social care, there were also limitations to the effective delivery of services, and the restrictions in how personal budgets or direct payments could be used inhibited choice and control. The report also raised concerns including: services for older people; mental health services; employment prospects and support; access to appropriate accommodation; and declining levels of income.
Source: Jenny Morris, Independent Living Strategy: A review of progress, In Control/Disability Rights UK
A new book examined the dual processes of ableism and disablism, and their relevance to a range of topics (including education, communities, and civil society).
Source: Dan Goodley, Dis/ability Studies: Theorising disablism and ableism, Routledge
A report examined ways in which national equality bodies might engage with equality duty bearers (defined as people and organizations that had an explicit legal duty under European Union and national equality legislation). The report outlined the range of EU-wide obligations, considered available engagement tools (such as legal mechanisms, research, training, and dialogue), and discussed issues relating to the choice of the 'right tool'.
Source: Joint Responsibility for Equal Treatment: How equality bodies work with duty bearers, Equinet (European Network of Equality Bodies)
A report (by an official advisory body) examined whether the two offences under which hate crime was prosecuted could be extended to bring equality of treatment across the five characteristics of disability, gender identity, race, religion, and sexual orientation. The report said that a consultation had revealed strong support for extending the aggravated offences, but also serious concerns from many stakeholders that the existing offences were unnecessarily complex and not working well. The Commission therefore recommended that a review of options should be conducted, but said that, in the absence of support or resources for a review, a less satisfactory solution would be for aggravated offences to be extended to disability, sexual orientation, and transgender identity. With regards to sentencing, the Commission said that the current, enhanced sentencing powers were under-used, partly because the the hostility element of hate crime was not always fully investigated, and the court was not always given the associated evidence. The report made recommendations for clearer sentencing guidance, and for the police national computer records to show where offences were proven to be aggravated by hostility.
Source: Hate Crime: Should the current offences be extended?, LC348, Law Commission
A report examined the political participation of people with disabilities in the European Union member states, based on a range of indicators. It said that there were legal and administrative barriers, inaccessible processes and information, and a lack of awareness about political rights, and that these could contribute to the denial of opportunity to participate fully. The report said that there was insufficient reliable and comparable data about people's experiences of participating in EU elections, and made a range of recommendations.
Source: The Right to Political Participation for Persons with Disabilities: Human rights indicators, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
The Supreme Court ruled that people with severe disabilities could not be deprived of their liberty without proper safeguards, regardless of the quality of their placements. The case concerned the living arrangements of three people with disabilities who were in state-organized care placements under constant supervision.
Source: P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and another/P and Q v Surrey County Council, UKSC 19 (2014), United Kingdom Supreme Court
An article said that the social model of disability had implications for evaluation of disability policy. Public health analyses suggested that a population and environmental approach to enablement was more likely to have a positive impact on disabled people than person-centred action. The capacity of people living with disabilities to participate in a range of social activities and the attitudes of others to such participation were, along with environments, said to be important factors contributing to disability situations and therefore the restriction of the promotion of personhood.
Source: William Sherlaw, Bernard Lucas, Alain Jourdain, and Nigel Monaghan, 'Disabled people, inclusion and policy: better outcomes through a public health approach?', Disability & Society, Volume 29 Number 3
The government began consultation on proposals to introduce regulations in the United Kingdom to permit the use of new fertility techniques to implant eggs or embryos from a donor to prevent serious mitochondrial disease being passed from a mother to her children. The consultation would close on 21 May 2014.
Source: Mitochondrial Donation: A consultation on draft regulations to permit the use of new treatment techniques to prevent the transmission of a serious mitochondrial disease from mother to child, Department of Health
The government published its response to a consultation on new arrangements for informing government strategy and policy with disability expertise, following the closure of the non-departmental public body Equality 2025. It said that the government would establish a new strategic engagement forum, chaired by ministers, to discuss strategic priorities and direction. The first meeting would take place in April 2014.
Source: Better Working with Disabled People: The way forward, Department for Work and Pensions
A report examined the accessibility of high street shops for people with disabilities, based on research with 100 young disabled people. It said that: two thirds of the respondents reported that physical access issues always or regularly affected their decisions on where to go; more than two thirds had found themselves unable to access parts of such premises owing to faulty or broken equipment; accessible toilets were raised as a frequent issue, both in terms of availability and misuse; sixty per cent of respondents said the layout or design of shops, restaurants, cafes, or supermarkets always or regularly affected their ability to move around inside the premises; and nearly half said that staff attitudes discouraged them from re-visiting these establishments. The report made recommendations for improvements.
Source: Short-Changed: The Trailblazers' high streets report, Trailblazers