4,000 set to benefit from new disability policy

MORE than 4,000 disabled islanders are set to benefit from a long-awaited plan to improve their quality of life.

MORE than 4,000 disabled islanders are set to benefit from a long-awaited plan to improve their quality of life.

The Disability and Inclusion Strategy will be debated by the States next month and, if approved, it will see improved information for disabled people and their carers, the development of legislation for the prevention of discrimination and an extension to Guernsey of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

The phased implementation will come at an initial cost of about £170,000. Annual costs would then be at least £52,000.

But departments involved have warned that there could be unidentified expenses, with Commerce and Employment speculating that two or three times the suggested start up costs could be needed.

The department has also criticised the report for a lack of detail and the ramifications of the proposals on local business.

But the Guernsey Disability Alliance described the strategy as the ‘first step on the long road’ to making sure everyone in Guernsey had the opportunity to be fully included in local life. ‘We very much welcome the publication of the island’s first ever Disability and Inclusion Strategy,’ said chairwoman Shelaine Green.

Comments for: "4,000 set to benefit from new disability policy"

Blondie

4000? Seems a rather high figure when the population is only c.65,000.

More Local Than You

"Disabled" is a very broad and encompassing term.

Shelaine and her team are absolute heroes in my opinion. WELL DONE!

Rob

Blondie – The figure comes from a survey where respondents were asked if anyone in their household had “a long-term or substantial health condition that has lasted (or will last) at least 12 months”. They were then asked to what extent that person had difficulty with everyday activities. The result was that 4,000 people said that they experienced significant difficulty relating to a long term condition

Have a think about your own family and friends. How many people do you know with a parent with dementia, a teenager with autism, a friend with depression, a child with learning difficulties, a gran who walks with a stick, an uncle who has had a heart attack…?

tulip

This is really great news and I gather from what is being said that it will make town shops more accessible for people with disabilities. I'm so pleased about that.

A few years back I saw a teenage girl in a wheelchair wait on Smith Street while her friends went into a shop. I could have come to the wrong conclusion, but I think she was waiting as the curb /step up stopped her wheelchair from getting into the shop. If that's the case it was really heartbreaking.

surviver

about time two,

I think employers should be educated more, and try and understand there employees, after suffering a brain heamorage, then major surgery, my short term memory is not very good, and concentration, I have been mucked in the work place, and nick named because of the long scare on my head, well done shelaine

Watcher

I hope the GP headline "4,000 set to benefit from disability policy" does not get folk too excited. For many people the word "benefit" conjures up images of new allowances, or perhaps allowance increases, all designed to financially assist those in need. Far from it, the proposals are, to say the least, a bit wishy-washy. (1) Improved information - that assumes we already have information so why is somebody not improving it constantly? (2) legislation for the prevention of discrimination - our record on getting new legislation approved and finally put into law is, to put it mildly, snail-like and (3) the extension of the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities - yet another piece of legislation that from a practical point of view is a minefield navigable only by those from a legal background.

All we need to improve the life of all people with a disability is for our community to recognize they have problems and ensure that any disadvantages they experience are either removed totally or reduced as much as possible. If we all thought a little more about the problems some people face on a daily basis then our world would be a much better place for all of us. We don't need fancy words and long winded legal documents - we need just a little bit of good, old fashioned compassion.

Rob

Watcher - your call for compassion is much appreciated, but I’m not sure this is what disabled people need and it’s certainly not enough. Disabled islanders have a right to be able to live a life free from charity, pity, stigma and prejudice.

I have researched numerous jurisdictions and no country has successfully combated disability discrimination without a law, and no country has done this with laws alone. The Guernsey legislation will be simple, usable and effective and backed by education and information. The States estimates it can be completed within two years and the Guernsey Disability Alliance will work hard to assist in meeting that timescale.

The UN Convention isn’t a law, it’s a set of promises a government makes to its citizens. The UN then checks on a regular basis that the government is taking measured steps towards fulfilling those promises. This particular UN Convention is the most successful and practical Convention that the UN has ever introduced.