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'We need to change society's attitudes to disabled people'

SUPPORT CALL: Campaigners and carers gathered at The House of Commons

BLACK AND ASIAN disabled children, their parents and carers would be able to access more services if there is a change in society’s attitudes, campaigners say.

Campaigners also called for more help for adults who are disabled during the launch of charity Include Me TOO’s report, called 'Time for Real Action' at the House of Commons in central London.

Disabled

The briefing paper addresses the needs of black and ethnic minority (BME) disabled children, young people and their families.  

Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller, who attended the launch said: “It is vital that we focus on changing society’s attitudes and behaviour towards disabled people so that they can properly access the support that they need to participate fully in their communities."

“This is particularly important when it comes to children and young adults from BME backgrounds. Changing attitudes towards not just disability but also ethnic background is vital if we are to have a completely inclusive society. The views of organisations like Include Me Too have been invaluable as we work towards a new cross-Government disability strategy which we will be launching shortly.”

The briefing paper gathered information in consultations with organisations working with disabled groups and also referring to more than 40 studies and research papers conducted over 15 years.

It said disabled children and adults were struggling with:
·   Poor access to information, advice and services.
·   Inappropriate service provision which is not always culturally appropriate or holistic in meeting the needs of BME disabled children, young people and their families.
·   Lack of parents/carers knowledge of their rights and entitlements to support the development and needs of their disabled child (or children) and families
·   Under representation of BME parents and carers in process and structures of participation and representation to influence decisions.

Parmi Dheensa, Include Me TOO’s executive director and founder, said: “It is imperative with all the government changes and future proposals that these issues are addressed as it is not acceptable that so many BME disabled children, young people and their families are still experiencing the same barriers and difficulties highlighted over the last 15 years and their voices remain to be unheard.”

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