The Business Disability Forum is standing with fellow organisations, campaigners and celebrities in calling for urgent action to prioritise the needs of the UK’s 14 million disabled people.
It is urging the government to provide strategic guidance and planning as the shielding period comes to an end.
In an open letter titled “We Won’t Be Forgotten” the not-for-profit organisation calls on the Prime Minister to factor in disabled people’s needs into every plan and change in regulations around the easing of lockdown from the start.
It also urged the government to prioritise the National Disability Strategy, announced in December 2019 to transform the lives of disabled people, and ensure it provides a “clear plan” to mitigate “existing inequalities” the pandemic has “further magnified”.
Diane Lightfoot, chief executive of Business Disability Forum, said: “As this letter so clearly sets out, economic recovery is key to the stability of our society, and disabled people must be included at the heart of any plan to achieve this.
“Our work focuses on supporting businesses to remove barriers that prevent disabled people from thriving and contributing in this way and we must all act now to ensure that we do not go backwards but enable people to fulfil their full potential.”
The letter from Mark Hodgkinson, chief executive of disability charity Scope, also has support from Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind; Caroline Stevens, CEO of the National Autistic Society; Ben Elton, comedian and Scope patron; and Alex Brooker, TV presenter, journalist and comedian, among others.