The government has been accused of showing “contempt” and “indifference” towards disabled people, after announcing large grants to 13 disability charities but failing to offer a penny to organisations run and controlled by disabled people (DPOs).
Reported in Disability News Service (DNS) the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced this week that it was awarding £2.4 million to charities such as Mencap, Leonard Cheshire, Scope, the National Autistic Society, RNIB and RNID.
The money will fund services that provide advice and support for people affected by the pandemic. But none of the funding will go to DPOs, many of which have provided vital support to disabled people during the pandemic.
Joe Whittaker, a board member of The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), said the decision meant it was “business as usual” for the government, which was continuing to fund “the big business charities, rather than listening to the authentic voice of disabled people and their organisations”.
He said the government had yet again failed to engage with disabled people in recent months and continued to “treat disabled people with contempt” by funding “multi-million pound charities”.
He added that these charities were managed by non-disabled people on six-figure salaries “telling disabled people what’s good for them”, which “perpetuates practices that lock disabled people into cultures of dependency”.
This failure to listen to DPOs can only result in the same failed policies and systematic disability discrimination that is perpetuated by the current government. It also prevents society from gaining from the huge contributions of disabled people from around the UK.
NB: You’ll not be surprised to hear that 25 per cent of DPOs have closed over the last five years and many are on the brink of closing due to lack of financial support from local and national government.
You can read the full article in DNS.