Let’s get right down to the wheels this year has proven to be challenging for most people, but for too many disabled people the challenges have and still been significantly worse because of access issues within their home.”
Disabled people for far too long now have been expected to ‘make do’ and ‘just put up with’ being unable to carry out even the basics of daily living with very little or no Independence.
In September Habinteg Housing Association published the results from the YouGov poll that it commissioned. Worryingly, and yet not surprisingly it revealed that inaccessible housing had a significant impact on the wellbeing of disabled adults during this trying time.
- 35% were “unable to carry out all daily tasks and activities at home without assistance.
- 24% of disabled people do not have a home that meets their access needs.
To add insult to wheels, the Government introduced a temporary Care Act easement. What does that mean well it gives local authorities the means to not have to complete all the assessments or meet all the needs usually expected of them. Although not all councils have applied easements, this doesn’t mean that it’s not adding that additional worry for disabled people who require that vital and much needed assistance in order to live an independent life.
It is difficult enough for disabled people when they are living in adequate accommodation and require that extra help but for those in inaccessible housing, the problems are multiplied. Having experienced firsthand what it is like to live in an inaccessible home I can understand the difficulties that disabled people have faced over the months.
April 2020, 86.3% (9 in 10) disabled adults said that they were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the effects the current times was having on their life.
Including feelings of isolation, fears about contracting the virus and concerns about accessing vital services.
People’s homes have played a central role in most people’s lives for a significant part of the year. those in inadequate housing are more likely to suffer adversely; physically, mentally and emotionally. Also, a higher percentage of disabled than non-bodied people have reported feeling unsafe when leaving their homes, hence confining them even more to their own four walls.
Home building will need to be far more accessible than it is currently. With the possibility of further social restrictions shortly, the Government needs to ensure that local authorities are in a position to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people to enable them to live independently.
This is why I started campaigning for better accessible homes as well as joining forces with Habinteg as an insights group member with other dedicated disabled people wanting the same outcome. #ForAccessibleHomes
This week I met everyone on the insight group, Virtually of course to discuss the accessible homes consultation followed with a virtual meeting with myself, Habinteg’s Nicolas Bungay and my local MP Ben Everett to talk about why we need more and better Accessible housing.
It cannot be denied or ignored that disabled and elderly people deserve more than just “making do”.
I would love to here what would you like to see in the accessible homes consultation? Feel free to leave me a comment.
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