Posted 16.01.2020

We believe the agreement reached - ‘New Decade, New Approach’ - offers a real opportunity for every Political Party and both Governments to now commit to advancing the full realisation of Disabled People’s rights in our society.

We specifically welcome the commitment by all to producing a timetable within 3 months for the development and delivery of a Disability Strategy. We would urge all Parties to commit to actioning this as a matter of urgency; disabled people have waited too long to see progress.

Alongside the commitment given to producing this timetable, we call for meaningful, ring fenced resource to be clearly identified and made available for the same without delay.

Firm commitments to advancing the Sign Language Bill at the earliest opportunity are also to be welcomed and are testament to the tireless efforts by the deaf community, their organisations and politicians from across the Political Spectrum over a number of years. Disability Action will be watching with interest and will continue to support the advancement of same.

The need for new disability discrimination legislation for Disabled People is long overdue. We see progress in respect of a sign language bill as evidence that development and delivery of such legislation with cross party support is now achievable.

Legislative protection of our rights cannot be delayed any longer.

In line with the agreement’s emphasis on ‘principles of co-design and co-production’ being central to development of Programme for Government, we would once more urge that space is made at all tables for disabled people and their representative organisations moving forward.  This will be key to empowering disabled people ‘…to secure their own rights..’

Disability Action have a long history of working closely with Governments across these Islands and indeed globally. We very much look forward to continued positive working and engagement with respective Ministers and their Departments as they take up their new portfolios.

This decade must be one that sees disabled people involved, valued and legally protected like any other citizen.