What will you do to address the chronic shortage of accessible and adaptable affordable housing and make sure that everyone has the right in legislation and in practice to a safe and suitable place to live?
Significantly improve housing choice for D/deaf, disabled and older people by requiring all Councils to appropriately plan for their Housing needs by creating a Disability Housing Plan and substantially increase the numbers of homes built to mobility standards over the next 5yrs.
Create a rapid Housing aids and adaptions fund available to all who need it to help people return home quickly from hospital and, more generally, to ensure older and disabled people’s homes are appropriate for their needs. Freeing up the use of capital by public bodies in this way this will result in further significant savings for NHS and Social Care, the benefits of which the NHS will be required to share with local Councils
How will you challenge the negative perceptions held by some employers and Jobcentre staff to tackle the high unemployment rates amongst disabled people?
Listen to the professionals and disabled people to improve services. Review cap on Access to work, and support disabled people to have increased work opportunities through Community based Supported Employment and Enterprise services, and require all UK businesses/Services to ensure at least 5% of their work goes to disabled people.
Will you guarantee that there will always be a safety net that ensures a good standard of living for people who are unable to work or are finding it difficult to find suitable employment?
We recognise not everyone can work, so our safety net of support systems and benefits and increasing carers allowances will enable everyone to have a decent quality of life.
Will you stop the wastage of time, money and energy for all involved that is annual reassessments of people with lifelong/degenerative conditions?
Yes. We will review PIP, scrap ineffective work capacity assessments, and increase support and assessment by health teams who know the person best.
How will you increase people’s choice and control over how their care needs are met?
Empower Communities to create Community led Networks of Support to sustain a range of community run preventative services established via these Networks, helping to have improve quality of life, reducing need for more costly care or hospital services.
Do you oppose forced institutionalisation and what protections will you put in place for disabled people?
Yes. We would End the placement of people with complex learning disability or mental health in remote and costly Care/NHS Treatment units similar to the notorious ‘Winterborne View, transferring these costs to provide better locally based housing and care solutions alongside family and Community Support Networks. And significantly increase advocacy support for all D/deaf, disabled and adults who need support.
What will you do to tackle the rise in disability hate crime?
We have a policy of zero tolerance to any hate crime and see government leadership as key in prosecuting perpetrators and using responsible language, identifying the benefits inclusion brings to us all.
What will you do to make public transport truly accessible?
Invest! Bring back into public ownership, illustrate savings public transport can make to health and us all, support prosecutions of those who fail to adhere to equality act.
What will you do to make Local Authorities more accountable in cases of maladministration against children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities?
We seek to bring all schools under LA control, and support right of disabled to be educated in mainstream education.
By Mags Lewis
Disability Spokesperson for the Green Party