The UK government has launched a new Disability Action Plan, with the intention of making the UK the most accessible place in the world for people with disabilities to live and work. The plan sets out 32 practical steps that are focused on improving the lives of disabled people to make the country a more inclusive and equal place to be. 

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Mims Davies MP, said: “We are building on this government’s really strong track record of supporting and delivering for disabled people by using their key feedback to deliver vital, everyday changes to their lives and we have listened to their asks and are truly determined to deliver on them.”

She added: “This new wide ranging plan means disabled children can rightly enjoy the fun of the playground, disabled customers can use the services they’re entitled to and businesses who break laws around assistance dogs will be firmly held to account amongst other impactful changes.”

Specific actions include building an online support hub for local authorities who want to create accessible playgrounds, the establishment of a new working group to educate business owners on the legal rights of assistance dog owners, and funding for disabled people who want to run for government office.

There are also more long term plans to research the barriers and problems that disabled people face when trying to participate in society. 

Sport England CEO and Disability and Access Ambassador for Sport and Physical Activity, Tim Hollingsworth said: “I support the government’s plans to explore hosting the 2031 Special Olympics World Summer Games.”

“As an event it is both important as the pinnacle event for athletes across the world and inspiring and uplifting for everyone who attends or is involved.”

He added: “As a passionate advocate for disability sport, I am eager to explore the tangible benefits that could come from this initiative in this country, as well as the other more immediate actions in the Disability Action Plan, all aimed at improving the lives of disabled people.”

However, the campaign group Disability Rights UK has issued a highly critical response to the plan, describing the actions it sets out as ‘weak’ and too long-term to have any impact. In light of the impending General Election, the fact that many of the reviews or proposals are scheduled for 2025 seems to be very sketchy and unsatisfactory. 

There are very few impactful actions set to be delivered before the election, and the group also claims that the actions are not comprehensive and far-reaching enough. They have expressed the view that the government has taken too little account of the views of ordinary disabled people who are struggling to survive in ever more challenging circumstances. 

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