Jane Hutt AM, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip
Yesterday, I published a new framework – ‘Action on Disability: The Right to Independent Living’, which replaces the previous ‘Framework for Action on Independent Living’ published in 2013.
This new framework is the result of engagement with disabled people and the organisations that represent them. The framework was further strengthened through consultation at the end of 2018.
As Minister with portfolio responsibility for equality, I am committed to disabled people fulfilling their potential to live the lives they want to lead. This requires us to work towards removing barriers that prevent this, not only physical obstacles in buildings, towns and the countryside, but also importantly, the hurdles and blockages created by structures, organisations’ policies, and people’s attitudes.
This framework focuses on what the Welsh Government is doing to achieve greater equality in Wales. Disabled people have told us that local action is crucial, so the framework is designed to strongly encourage Welsh Public Services, employers and organisations at every level to take note of the commitments and to take action.
The structure of this framework is new, the main document sets out the principles, legal context and commitments which underpin all our work with, and for, disabled people. It sets out how we are fulfilling our obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), and also highlights the role of key legislation including the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. Underlying the whole framework is the ‘Social Model of Disability’, which recognises the need for society to be transformed, removing barriers so that disabled people are able to participate fully. The framework is accompanied by an Action Plan which highlights the main actions currently being undertaken or led by Welsh Government and is designed to be kept up to date to reflect changing circumstances and new developments.
Supporting people to live their lives in the way they choose is the right thing to do. I commend this framework to encourage action led by disabled people across the whole of Wales.