We asked the Government some serious questions with regard to Disability. This is what we asked and here are their replies.
Q) Are people in the UK currently more aware, more compassionate and more understanding about the disabled and vulnerable in our society?
A) Our society is founded on fundamental values and principles, including treating others equally with fairness, respecting the rights and dignities of others, tolerance and participation in community life. We should all be upholding these values and principles towards each other, including disabled and vulnerable people in every aspect of society.
The Equality Act 2010 has been in force for almost 7 years, and prior to that, we had the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Government believes this is more than enough time for people, including employers and service providers, to familiarise themselves with the disability rights and legal obligations available in the UK, and to develop more understanding about the specific needs of disabled and vulnerable people in our society, and how to address these needs.
Unfortunately, there are still some within our society who are either unaware of the law, or who deliberately choose to flout it. In such circumstances, it is only right that legal processes are pursued to bring to justice for victims of disability discrimination.
Q) We read regularly about hate crime, austerity, selfishness and a general lack of sympathy, but what we don’t hear about so much are the thousands and thousands of acts of kindness that happen everyday.
A) A vast majority of the people in the UK are compassionate people who perform many selfless acts, giving freely of their time and energy, to enrich the lives of disabled and vulnerable people in our society. You only have to look at the countless charities and volunteers who provide invaluable and essential services. There are also the countless individuals who carry out random acts of kindness to virtual strangers or to friends or family without any acknowledgement. Of course, it would be fantastic to have such acts of kindness featured in the news and on social media, and the Government would encourage broadcasters and social media outlets to cover these human interest stories.
Q) Which of the above do you think most accurately reflects modern-day Britain?
A) We believe the UK to be more aware, more compassionate and more understanding about the disabled and vulnerable people in our society. This awareness and compassion is demonstrated daily by people from all walks of life in our communities towards disabled and vulnerable people. However, there is still scope to increase awareness of disability issues through educational programmes and guidance.
Disability awareness guidance relating to the Equality Act 2010 is already available to enable individuals, employees and service providers to familiarise themselves with disability rights and obligations. These are available at:
Q) What can we do as individuals, communities, society, media, business and Government to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged?
A) The Government is committed to protecting people with disabilities and improving life choices and opportunities in every aspect of society, whether in employment, in service provision, in communities or in their private lives. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection against discrimination for disabled people including a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled employees are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people.
The Government strongly encourages employers, service providers, communities and individuals to be aware of the rights and protections available to disabled people, to fulfil their legal obligations towards all disabled people and vulnerable people.
The Government also encourages more people, including young people, to take up volunteering with disabled and vulnerable people in order to make a difference in their communities. More information on volunteering is available at: