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(UK) "Urgent action" needed on 'looming employment crisis'; 500,000 disabled young people

Aug 6, 2020, Disability News Service: Round-up: Autistic children, looming jobs crisis, social care evidence… and Baywatch At least 41 local authorities across England have unlawful policies that prevent autistic children from obtaining an assessment of their support needs, according to a new report. The report (PDF) by Disability Law Service, Leeds University’s School of Law, the disability charity Cerebra and the BBC, says the councils are discriminating against autistic children by refusing an assessment unless they have another impairment or a formal diagnosis of autism. Sir Ed Davey MP, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats and a patron of Disability Law Service, has written an open letter, which describes the policies as “unlawful, discriminatory and unacceptable” and calls on councils to review their policies and ensure they are clear and easily accessible. The campaign has not yet named any individual local authority, but Sir Ed is to write to each of the 41 councils identified in the study to give them a chance to respond and amend their policies. A coalition of nine disability organisations has called on the government to take urgent action to avoid a “looming employment crisis” among disabled young people…. The coalition – led by National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) and including the disabled people’s organisation Disability Rights UK – wants to see the government make changes to its Plan for Jobs, which was released last month. Among their recommendations, they want to see careers advisors trained to work with disabled people; online job searching made more accessible; and the £1,000 incentive for businesses taking on apprentices to be extended to all disabled young people, rather than just those with education, health and care plans. NDCS estimates there are more than 500,000 disabled young people aged 16-25 in the UK. A Citizen’s Advice survey has found that some disabled people are at least twice as likely to face redundancy as non-disabled people. The survey of more than 6,000 people across the UK found that one in six (17 per cent) of the working-age population is facing redundancy [unemployment]…. Carers and parents (39 per cent) are also at sharply increased risk of redundancy, says Citizen’s Advice…. A disabled women’s organisation has called for an abolition of care charges, an end to the “profit-making market” in social care, and the development instead of a system of free, flexible, high-quality support, with disabled people able to decide “what support we need and from whom”. The call came in evidence submitted to the Commons health and social care select committee by WinVisible, which supports and campaigns for disabled women. WinVisible made clear in its submission that it opposed “the integration of health and social care into one huge monolith which will make institutional life-and-death decisions over our heads”. It added: “We are not objects to be placed wherever professionals dictate….


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