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Calls for urgent action to prioritise disabled people as lockdown eases

Big BenBusiness Disability Forum is standing with fellow organisations and campaigners calling for urgent action to prioritise the needs of the UK’s 14 million disabled people, asking the Government to provide strategic guidance and planning as the shielding period comes to an end.

In an open letter titled “We Won’t Be Forgotten”, among the urgent actions called for are to “factor disabled people’s needs into every plan and change in regulations around the easing of lockdown from the start” as well as “prioritise the vital National Disability Strategy. Ensure it provides a clear plan to mitigate existing inequalities the pandemic has further magnified”.

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive of Business Disability Forum said: “As this letter so clearly sets out, economic recovery is key to the stability of our society, and disabled people must be included at the heart of any plan to achieve this. Our work focuses on supporting businesses to remove barriers that prevent disabled people from thriving and contributing in this way and we must all act now to ensure that we do not go backwards but enable people to fulfil their full potential.”

The letter from Mark Hodgkinson, Chief Executive of Scope also has support from:

Baroness Jane Campbell
Stephen Timms MP, Chair, Work and Pension Select Committee
Sara Llewellin, CEO, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Kathryn Scott, Director of Policy, British Psychological Society
Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive, Business Disability Forum
Kamran Mallick, Chief Executive, Disability Rights UK
Phil Lee, Chief Executive, Epilepsy Action
Liz Barclay, Steering Group Chair, Fair by Design
Neil Heslop, Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire Disability
Mencap
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive, Mind
Chris James, Director of External Affairs, MND Association
Caroline Stevens, Chief Executive, National Autistic Society
Steve Ford, CEO, Parkinsons UK
RNIB
Charles Colquhoun, CEO, Thomas Pocklington Trust
Deirdre Costigan, National Officer for Disability Equality, Unison
Anela Anwar, Chief Executive, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
Alex Brooker, TV Presenter, Journalist and Comedian
Juliette Burton, Performer, Writer and Broadcaster
Sarah Crawford
Ben Elton, Comedian, Author, Playwright, Performer and Scope Patron
Richard Herring, Comedian, Writer, Broadcaster and Scope patron
Lottie Jackson, Journalist
Mark Lane, Garden Designer, Gardeners’ World Presenter
Sophie Morgan, Disability Rights Advocate, Broadcaster, Social Entrepreneur and Scope patron
Georgie Morrell, Comedian, Actor and Writer
Adam Pearson, Actor, Presenter and Disability Campaigner
Christopher Stevens, Journalist
Samantha Renke, Actor, Disability Campaigner and Scope Ambassador
Lee Ridley, Comedian, Disability Campaigner and Scope Ambassador
Shaun Pye, Actor, Comedian and Writer

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