A new report – An Affront to Dignity, Inclusion and Equality – produced by a group of disabled academics has confirmed that the inequalities experienced by disabled people have widened during the pandemic.
The report concludes that the government’s policy making has breached its duties to disabled people under both the Equality Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The academics, from the Oxford University’s Disability Law and Policy Project and its Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, have also called on the government to launch an immediate enquiry into why so many disabled people have died during this time.
Reported in the Disability News Service (DNS) the inquiry makes 22 recommendations, including a call for an “immediate review of legislation introduced by the government during the crisis”, as well as an inquiry to “understand the scale of COVID-19 related deaths and to examine why this group has carried such a heavy burden” through the pandemic.
It also calls for the government to set up a Response and Recover Group, made up of disabled people and representatives of disabled people’s organisations, to ensure disabled people are “central to decision-making” on the country’s economic and social recovery.
The report also highlights the “social and human rights” failings of the government’s pandemic response, which left many disabled people with high support needs unable to access food without leaving their homes, despite being at significant risk from the virus.