Inclusion London's interim report exploring the lived experiences of Disabled people from the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic paints a stark picture. From the outset, Deaf and Disabled people have been discriminated against, forgotten, and in some cases abandoned as policymakers have ignored their needs. Or, at best considered them as an afterthought.
The pandemic has also shone a light on the long-standing structural inequalities and discrimination that Deaf and Disabled people experience. The disparities are reflected in the data released as Inclusion London write this report by the Office for National Statistics, who found those who reported their daily activities were “limited a lot” by an impairment at the 2011 census were about twice as likely to die from covid-19.
Inclusion London has collected over three hundred responses and their survey reveals along with emerging data that the pandemic is impacting on Deaf and Disabled people across every area of life. Disabled people are experiencing increasing levels of psychological distress, social isolation, a lack of social care support, workplace discrimination, food poverty, and unequal access to health care.
The key themes of the report are:
- Over 60% of Disabled people questioned said they had struggled to access food, medicine and necessities.
- Over 35% of respondents talked about increasing levels of psychological distress.
- Nearly half of the respondents talked about inaccessible information confusing guidance and lack of advice.
- Disabled people feel abandoned and neglected.
- The right to life and rationing of resources.
- Social care is being cut, reduced or failing to provide protective equipment.
- The coronavirus pandemic has thrown into stark relief the extent of the discrimination and exclusion Disabled people face.