A stronger approach to advancing disability rights

Published: 29 Jun 2017

David Isaac, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, commenting on the changes we are making to maximise the impact we have on advancing disability rights, said:

"Tackling the injustices facing disabled people in our society is central to everything we do. Our current business plan includes an ambitious range of work to address the key inequalities facing disabled people across all areas of their lives. We recently published our major review of the barriers facing disabled people in Britain and later this year we will make recommendations for improvements to provision of housing, following a detailed inquiry. We are also playing an active role in informing the UK’s review by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, taking place in August this year. Along with our work to make transport and football stadia more accessible and substantially increased support for legal cases, such as against the spare room subsidy, we are a vigorous champion of disabled people’s rights.

"The changes to our ways of working are designed to make our approach to advancing disability rights stronger, not weaker. Rather than having just one named champion of disability rights on the Board (the former role of Disability Commissioner), all Board members, including a number of disabled Commissioners and others with direct experience, will have a responsibility to champion disability issues. The work of the Commission is structured around 'domains', looking at every area of people’s lives including healthcare, education, work and living standards, to ensure that we are tackling the root causes of the injustices that still exist in our society. This 'domain-based' approach, in parallel with a specific focus on each of the protected characteristics within our remit, is the foundation of our new ways of working and allows us to work in a more strategic way, looking across domains at issues that affect more than one group and understanding where different groups are particularly affected by the law, policy or practice. This way of working will enable us to have more impact in tackling the issues facing disabled people and reflects the fact that those we exist to support have multiple protected characteristics and identities. 

"We are also currently making formal appointments to a new Disability Advisory Committee (DAC). The new DAC will be made up of members who will use their years of expert knowledge and experience on disability issues, to inform and advise the Commission’s work to protect and promote the rights of disabled people.

"I truly believe that these changes to our ways of working will make our approach to advancing disability rights stronger."

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