The government’s disability strategy: A lost opportunity to make a difference for disabled people

Conference notes that the Government’s Disability Strategy was published on 27 July. This followed a period of public consultation via an online survey which has been much criticised. The Government failed to properly consult with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s) and this is currently subject to legal challenge. Consequently, the strategy has received criticism and been […]

A COVID secure world for Disabled Members

Conference is concerned that 60% of all people who have died from COVID were disabled and nearly half a million people have had long COVID for over a year, yet the government have not issued any guidance on supporting disabled people at risk of COVID once restrictions have ended. So called Freedom Day could almost […]

Review of the Equality Act

Conference notes that the Equality Act 2010 has now been in place for over 10 years and despite both the House of Lords and the United Nations stating that it fails disabled people there are still no plans for a review. Since it’s implementation the world has changed significantly with COVID being just one major […]

Campaigning for accessible environments

Conference is concerned that the recent pandemic, poorly funded local authorities and the government’s proposals to reform planning are combining to make hopes of better access for disabled people a distant dream. As the country started to reopen after the first lockdown local councils were told to do whatever was needed to help kickstart the […]

Failure to engage won’t silence Disabled Members

Conference is concerned to hear that a forum established by Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled People, to ‘bring the voices and expertise of disabled people into the heart of government policy making’ appears to have been shut down amid concerns that the government will launch their long awaited Disability Strategy without any meaningful consultation […]

Deaf workers, Access to Work and PIP

Conference notes that Deaf workers rely on Access to Work to pay for BSL interpreters so that they can do their jobs and live independent lives. However during the pandemic the Access to Work system wasn’t as flexible or responsive as it needed to be in the changed circumstances. Long standing issues with the system […]

Stop the Covid scams that prey on Deaf people

Conference is concerned about the increase in scams during Covid 19 and particularly how this has impacted on Deaf people who are native British Sign Language (BSL) users. Covid scammers are criminals who use the publicity around coronavirus as a chance to target people. They try to take advantage of people’s worries and uncertainty about […]

Building on the race discrimination protocol

Conference notes UNISON’s ground-breaking Race Discrimination Protocol which means that cases that potentially involve racism are referred for legal advice at an early stage. Conference welcomes UNISON’s commitment to fighting racism in this way and notes that for many Black disabled workers it may not be clear if they are being discriminated against because of […]

Mental Health and Suicide Awareness to Support Disabled LGBT+ members following the Covid-19 Pandemic

Conference applauds the National Disabled Members Committee for the work undertaken to date to highlight the effects of austerity measures on disabled lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender plus (LGBT+) workers, the services we provide and the knock-on effects of the reduction in those services. Conference further notes that a range of governmental bodies, statutory services and […]

What are they (still) hiding?: Black disabled people and PIP

Conference recalls the 2019 Disabled Members Conference agreed the motion “What are they hiding? Missing PIP data on the experience of Black disabled people”. The motion asked the national disabled members committee to seek data on the percentage of Black claimants turned down for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) compared to white claimants. Conference notes that […]

Time to change the rules of the game – disabled women fulfilling our potential in our union and in society

Conference notes that disabled women face barriers to participation in our union, in the workplace and in society. Over one million of our members are women and a large proportion of these are disabled. Although UNISON has rules about gender proportionality which mean, for example, that where there are two seats at least one must […]

Domestic Abuse – Lack of Support for Disabled Women

Conference notes that an unfortunate and unwelcome result of the national lockdown has been a reported increase in domestic abuse and domestic violence. Often isolated and shut off from previous support networks, victims can struggle to access support or alert others to their situation. Perpetrators of domestic abuse have been able to use the restrictions […]

We need a British Sign Language Act now!

Conference recalls that UNISON Disabled Members Conference 2018 passed the motion ‘Legal Recognition of British Sign Language’. The motion explained that although the UK government formally recognised British Sign Language (BSL) as a language in its own right in 2003, this did not give full legal status to BSL. Scotland is the only country in […]

Disabled Workers and Post-Covid-19 Syndrome

Conference notes that as we move past more than a year since COVID-19 hit these nations, we can already see the devastating affects it has had on those impacted by Post-Covid-19 Syndrome. Common symptoms of Post-Covid-19 Syndrome include (but are not limited to) fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, pain and changes in […]

Covid and Black disabled workers – learning the lessons for the recovery

Conference notes that Black people were four times more likely to die of COVID-19 than white people while almost 60% of deaths were of disabled people. The myth that COVID doesn’t discriminate has been unmasked. Black and disabled people were hit the hardest and we continue to be disproportionately impacted as we hopefully come out […]