What difference will the Independent Living Strategy
make and how will we measure progress? 115
Consultation on the Independent Living Strategy
and Summary of consultation questions 129
Foreword by the Prime Minister
Our vision for Britain is of a society where all citizens are respected and included as equal members, and where everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. For many disabled people that vision can seem far removed from the reality of their lives. But the lives of some have been transformed by having choice and control over the support they need. We are committed to extending such self-determination to all disabled people, and to enabling greater access to housing, employment, health, education, transport and other opportunities.
Involving disabled people of all ages in how services are planned and delivered means individuals are supported in the ways that they choose and barriers to access removed. Transferring power to those needing support, and joining up services to ensure this happens, changes the way in which support and services are delivered and experienced. It unlocks opportunities, enables people to participate and contribute, and strengthens our communities.
The Independent Living Strategy has been developed with disabled people. I am grateful to Baroness Jane Campbell, who chaired the Expert Panel supporting the Review, and to all the Panel members who provided challenging and constructive advice. The involvement of disabled people in workshops and regional discussions has been essential in shaping this Strategy and I am grateful to all those who took part.
A guiding principle of the Review has been to work across Government to improve the outcomes for disabled people by breaking down the artificial barriers created by fragmented initiatives and organisational boundaries. I am delighted that Ministers in Communities and Local Government, Transport, Children, Schools and Families, Innovation, Universities and Skills, Work and Pensions, and Health have come together to champion independent living and to develop and agree joint ownership of this Strategy.
We are committed to a vision of equality for all disabled people by 2025. This Strategy sets out how we will make progress towards achieving that goal.
Foreword by Life Chances Ministers
The Strategy brings together a number of initiatives – across Government – which will enable more people to have choice and control over the support they receive, remove barriers to independent living, and improve access to services. For example, a Transition Support Programme will enable young disabled people to access advocacy support and person centred planning; a cross-government national strategy will aim to help people remain in employment when they acquire an impairment or their condition worsens; and a nationally funded rapid response repairs and adaptations services will enable older and disabled people to remain living in their own homes. The Strategy includes measures to encourage the investment of resources to enable disabled people to have control over the resources made available to them. We will also examine the need for advocacy support in situations where people are at risk of losing choice and control.
We want to ensure that independent living – having choice and control over support – is a goal for disabled people of all ages and across all service user groups. For example, older disabled people must have the same options and opportunities for independent living as anyone else and the Strategy contains a number of commitments which will help achieve this goal.
Disabled people have told us that one of the barriers to change is lack of understanding about what independent living means. An important part of the Strategy will be action to promote understanding among service deliverers of how to enable people to have choice and control so that independent living and a personalised approach are integral to the way services are planned and delivered.
A key element of the Strategy is our framework for measuring progress. Together with disabled people, we will monitor progress on the Strategy annually to ensure it does make a tangible difference to people’s lives. Where progress is slow we will consider what further action is required.
This Strategy sets out our commitments to work together to deliver real improvements in the lives of disabled people.