Earlier this month, the UK Government released its Disability Action Plan
This sets out 32 steps towards the UK being the most accessible place in the world for disabled people.
And while Nicky and Candy’s welcome this aspiration, as we know, they love making things better.
So, here’s three things Nicky and Candy think would make the Disability Action Plan better…
First up, standards instead of guidance
The government has said it will bring together information to make playgrounds more accessible for disabled children
This is great news because everyone should be able to play and enjoy playground. It’s an important part of children’s development as well as supporting inclusion, awareness and understanding between disabled and non-disabled children from a young age.
But, there’s no way of making sure that this information will be used by people designing and building parks as it’s only offered as guidance – which has been around for a long time.
Nicky and Candy would have liked to have seen the government make the access standard to every playground, and everything else disabled people are currently excluded from, HAD to be accessible for disabled children, rather than allowing it to be an option.
Second up, increasing awareness with children
The government talked about increasing awareness for other government officials but what about children and young people?
With more disabled students than ever going to mainstream schools, there’s a need to ensure classmates are aware of disabled people, how they might react and interact differently to others.
And, if children understand disabled people now, they’re much more likely to as adults, which will help avoid some of the issues disabled people face today – and work towards that aspiration of being the most accessible place in the world.
Nicky and Candy would have liked to see the government commit to helping children better understand disabled people.
And we know just the series of books that can help with this too!
And finally, more enforcement
The government wants to create a group of people to understand how they can tackle the issue of people guide dogs being refused access from shops, restaurants and taxis, because of their guide dog.
But this has been the law for a long time, yet people still get away with refusing people with guide dogs. This can be humiliating for the person and really affect their confidence.
Nicky and Candy thinks this step could have been made better by the government introducing immediate fines and sanctions for businesses or services that break the law by refusing access for GuideDogs.
And that’s three ways Nicky and Candy’s think the Governments Disability Action Plan could help towards making the UK a better place for disabled people.
Could you school come up with any other ways that the UK Disability Action Plan could be made better?
Make sure you let Ben Andrews, author of Better Places, know by email or his social media @BenAndrewsINC
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