This panel event explores the potential implications for disability policy of these possible futures under the political and socio-cultural themes. It explores questions including whether the ‘vulnerability’ framing is likely to inform future policy and what the implications are for disabled people’s lives, communities and activism.
Implications of the COVID-19 Crisis for Disability Policy podcast
There has been a shift in many countries over recent decades to position disability policy as an issue of rights and equality: the aim is social and economic participation, rather than a more paternalistic concern for care and containment. This found its expression in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by 181 countries by 2020. Some states, for instance Australia, have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by creating plans framed precisely in terms of disabled people’s rights to equal treatment (equality in healthcare, employment and the like). Others, like the UK, have reverted to an older framing of ‘vulnerable’ people, those deemed to require protection and practical assistance: this has met with some objections, from over-70s arguing they are contributors to society not just in need of ‘protection’ and from disabled people denied goods like help with shopping if they are not ‘vulnerable’ enough. A number of organisations have looked at the possible ‘new normals’ that could arise post-covid crisis and NESTA has pulled together projections from different sources under a number of themes.
Jane Campbell (@BnsJaneCampbell) is an independent Crossbench Member of the House of Lords and disability rights campaigner.
Neil Crowther (@neilmcrowther) is an independent expert on equality, human rights and social change with a particular interest in working to secure the rights of disabled people.
Clenton Farquharson (@ClentonF), MBE, is a disabled person with lived experience of health and social care, Chair of the Think Local Act Personal partnershi