Following the recent announcements on the downgrading of the Disability Minister's role. Our Director, Laura Wood, shares shares her thoughts.
'The news of downgrading the Disability Minister role has been incredibly disappointing, and sadly hints towards a lack of prioritisation of disability rights'.
Disabled people have for too long faced unsuitable housing, depriving them of essential needs – the ability to live safe and independently in their own homes, with the support of necessary adaptations - from wheelchair ramps, stairlifts to our very own products - grab rails.
It was only last month that we were inspired to hear Chris Witty’s talk at the UKRI's Healthy Ageing Conference, (following his recent report), about the importance of low-cost adaptations in future proofing for an ageing population. Significant to the area of disability, since 4 million older people (40% of people aged 65 and over) have a limiting long-term illness or disability, and this figure is rising rapidly.
Similarly, we were pleased to read the governments recently published, Disability Resident Panel report, which spotlights disabled people's voices on housing support. Lack of adaptations was clearly prevalent, detailing the impact across disabled people's lives, from moving around their home, to carrying out essential tasks, right through to impacting their financial, physical and mental health. An aspect that we, at Invisible Creation's know too well, having designed and installed a vast range of dual purpose grab rails for disabled people, such as disability rights ambassador, Kelly Allbott.
The government’s disability report shared a list of recommended actions on the back of the findings, from improving training across housing providers, increasing engagement with residents, greater funding, reducing wait times, and more. These recommendations only emphasise the disappointment stemming from the downgrade of the Disability Minister, and underscores the urgent need for renewed attention and concerted efforts to address the lack of adapted housing.
Today I signed a petition to reinstate the minister and would encourage others to join. Every individual deserves the opportunity to live independently, with dignity, and it's time to translate this into a reality for the disabled community.
Furthermore, following our visit to the House of Lords a few months back, where we represented Invisible Creations® with Paul Smith from Foundations, watch out as we continue to gather support for our pending Fit for our Future campaign, supporting a vision for the design, build and adaption of homes for more inclusive living!