Posted 23.03.2020

Disability Action are deeply concerned by a number of provisions contained in the draft Coronavirus Bill being debated in parliament today. It is likely elements will be before our own Assembly and respective Committees in the coming days. We are happy to witness so many in our community coming together to contact their respective political representatives on these issues.

Whilst we are living in challenging times, Disability Action believe that measures unnecessary or disproportionate should never be included in any legislation to the detriment of disabled people.

Furthermore, whilst we fully support our dedicated medical professionals and we continue to urge all people to isolate, we cannot as an organisation accept the guidance that has been released by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on Saturday. We echo the sentiments of our colleagues at Mencap and others.

We view the use of frailty to assess eligibility for critical care as deeply concerning for our community.  We call on NICE to include specific further guidance in partnership with Disabled people and their organisations. It is important our healthcare professionals have guidance which includes and fully reflects disabled people in the difficult times ahead.

As an Organisation we are working exceptionally hard during these very challenging times to support our staff, those we work with and our community. We are currently exploring ways in which we might be able to use infrastructure / resources / skills to support disabled people to stay safe and supported in their homes.

The scope of the challenge is immense across society – we know the expertise and ingenuity among our community is exceptional.

We are now calling on all '#NIDisabledLeaders and allies in Northern Ireland: let’s hear some of your big ideas. Use the hash tag and get involved!

How do we all (Networks, Organisations, Political Parties, Groups and Government) work together to support those in the disability community here in N.Ireland?

Let’s lead and make history.

Together as one and Nothing About Us Without Us!