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Manifesto calls for greater action on disability inclusion

A leading non-profit disability and business organisation is calling on the future Government to commit to a series of actions to support businesses to deliver on disability inclusion.

Bela Gor, Head of Campaigns and Legal Business Disability Forum with panellists Dr Aurora Constantin, Research Associate at University of Edinburgh, John Brady, Customer Manager at RBS and Caroline Eglinton, Access and Inclusion Manager at Network Rail

Business Disability Forum published its ‘Manifesto for Inclusive Change’ today (3 December) to mark the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The manifesto calls for action in seven areas to ensure that the role businesses play in disabled people’s lives is enhanced, not inhibited, by government policy.

The future Government is called upon to take the following actions:

  • To introduce targeted opportunities, including paid apprenticeships, for people with learning disabilities; recognising the challenges presented by a flattening of job infrastructure.
  • To carry out a robust equality analysis of environmental and human rights policies.
  • To seek the development of a new cross-Government approach to disability; bringing whole-Government consideration to all policy development.
  • To prevent any further watering down of the Equality Act and increasing the enforcement powers and authority of the EHRC, or a similar body. Rights must be enforced, not just protected.
  • To reform Access to Work and to remove the £59,200 cap.
  • To ensure all education and learning opportunities are inclusive and accessible.
  • To introduce a wholesale shift from mandatory ‘one size fits all businesses’ government-led initiatives to an outcome focus approach.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum, said:

“Business Disability Forum’s 300 Members and Partners represent 30 per cent of the workforce in the UK. They have all committed to make disability inclusion a priority within their organisations. We now need a commitment from the future Government which mirrors this, and which enhances rather than inhibits the actions being taken by businesses.

“We are in a period of immense change. Brexit, skills gaps and shortages in many key sectors, climate change, technology and innovation. Our ‘Manifesto for Inclusive change’ draws on the experiences of our Members and Partners and disabled people working within those organisations. We are calling for informed, joined-up, inclusive policies which deliver on improving the life chances of disabled people and ensure disabled people are not left behind.”

To read Business Disability Forum’s ‘Manifesto for Inclusive Change’:

Download our Manifesto for Inclusive Change (Word Document)

Download our Manifesto for Inclusive Change (PDF Document)

Follow the debate at #DisabilitySmart

To request a copy of the manifesto or to set up an interview, or call (0)20-7403-3020

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