The beginning of the year is a great time to implement changes and set goals for the next 12 months, and one area the government could make big improvements is disability provisions. We look at new year’s resolutions that should be implemented in the UK that would really help disabled people over the next year.
Include disabled people in post-pandemic world
There have been a substantial number of changes over the last couple of years, as a direct result of the pandemic. However, it is essential disabled people are not left behind when new procedures or policies are introduced.
According to Andrew Pulrang, diversity, equity and inclusion writer for Forbes: “It’s not out of the question that in 2022, we could do a better job not just with Covid itself, but how it affects the disability community.”
He suggested looking at the pandemic-related problems that specifically affect those with disabilities. These include a higher risk of catching Covid or having complications from it, and inadequate access to preventative measures, such as those who are ‘homebound’ and cannot get a vaccination or people with lung disease or autism who struggle to wear a mask.
Mr Pulrang also recognised the importance of not abandoning disabled people to protect themselves in a post-pandemic world, putting others at greater risk.
“We will need to fight hard to maintain some semblance of social responsibility with Covid, so disabled and chronically ill people aren’t left completely on our own, and forced to essentially hide from our fellow citizens who decide they are ‘done with Covid’,” he stated.
Greater disability culture
There are more disabled figures in the media than before, but it is important representation of those with disabilities in modern culture continues to grow this year.
Mr Pulrang commented: “Hopefully, 2022 will be an even richer year for disability culture produced by people with disabilities, speaking eloquently to both disabled and non-disabled audiences.”
He stated this could be achieved by expanding the disability community and seeking co-operation from those who are not disabled in order to penetrate mainstream social institutions.
Making hybrid working accessible
Last year saw the adoption of hybrid working for the majority of businesses, with many employees splitting their time between the office and home. However, while those with no mobility issues can swap locations whenever they want to, the shift can be more difficult for disabled people, particularly if accessibility is not given as much thought in office design as before.
Civil Service Disability Network’s chair Sue Reeves spoke to Civil Service World regarding plans for 2022. She noted that while working from home has made lives “more disability accessible”, establishing a hybrid approach for employees has been challenging.
Ms Reeves added that it is essential “we will have full access to our agreed workplace adjustments in both locations”.
According to Citizens Advice, this involves making doorways wider, providing more lighting and clearer signs, fitting automatic doors, installing ramps and stairway lifts, and issuing extra aids and services, such as a portable induction loop for those with hearing aids.
To see a range of access ramps, bath lifts and kitchen adjustments for disabled people, give us a call today.