On 26 October, ODI published a report on the findings of an evidence review investigating the costs, benefits and effectiveness of advocacy support for disabled people. Download the report, executive summary and supporting material from the research reports page.
On 16 October, ODI published its newest disability equality indicators, covering attitides to discrimination, participation in civic life and use of childcare.
Download the new indicators from the annual report indicator section.
The ODI's Right to Control consultation closed on 30 September 2009. The responses are now available for download from the Right to Control section of this website. The formal government response will be available during December.
ODI has produced a new website for policy-makers and professionals in commissioning roles. The website includes practical tips on how to plan, commission and provide appropriate support for older people. Visit our new Older people page to find out more about the website and read the press release.
Jonathan Shaw, met disabled people and organisations across England, Wales and Scotland from Monday 21 September throughout the week. He talked to people about the government's work towards disability equality, including the Right to Control and Access to Work programmes.
The minister said:
"It's important that I see for myself how the government's programmes are impacting on the lives of disabled people, and hear about their experiences and expectations. I will take this opportunity to encourage people to help us design the Right to Control. I will also find out more about the real help people are getting through our Access to Work programme."
The Right to Control will give disabled adults more choice and control over the services and funding they receive from the state. Access to Work is a popular programme run by Jobcentre Plus, which provides practical advice and support to disabled people and their employers, to help overcome work-related obstacles.
- Engaging with disabled people: a report on the minister's visits (PDF, 2 pages, 18 KB)
We are pleased to announce that Tim Cooper has joined the ODI as its new Director. He will be bringing a wealth of experience to the role, having worked and volunteered in the disability sector for more than 25 years. Tim says: "I'm really excited to be joining the Office for Disability Issues. I have followed its successes with interest and I'm looking forward to working with my new colleagues."
Read the press release announcing his appointment in our news section.
Project Search is a programme helping people with moderate and severe learning disabilities to secure and keep full-time paid permanent jobs. The Government is currently inviting proposals from local partnerships who are interested in running the Project Search model then evaluating its success. Ten to 12 sites will be selected to take part in testing how the model could work in England.
Find out how your organisation can get involved in our Project Search section.
The Right to Control will be a major step toward achieving disability equality by 2025.
The consultation, launched on 11 June, invites stakeholders to give their views on the best way to deliver the Right to Control.
The ODI is now inviting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from local authorities who would like to work with Jobcentre Plus to be trailblazers for the Right to Control.
Find out how to apply in our Right to Control section.
Minister announces ratification of UN Convention Optional Protocol
Following ratification of the UN Convention, on 21 July Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People announced the final steps for formal ratification of the Optional Protocol. Read the Minister's statement in our UN Convention section.
Three members have been appointed to the Board responsible for overseeing the work of the ODI. Following an open competition ODI is pleased to announce Kirsten Hearn, Agnes Fletcher and Stephen Duckworth were the successful candidates. They attended their first meeting on 10 June 2009.
Find out more about the Board in our About us section.
ODI has created a toolkit to enable disability organisations to involve disabled people in their consultation response or organise their own consultation event.
Download the toolkit from our Right to Control page.
Project Search is a programme helping people with moderate and severe learning disabilities to secure and keep full-time paid permanent jobs. From 24 June the Government is inviting proposals from local partnerships to join the programme and take part in the evaluation of this groundbreaking project.
Visit the Project Search page for information on how to submit your proposal.
On 24 June 2009, the ODI published its newest disability equality indicators, covering households living in non-decent accomodation and 16-18 year olds not in employment, education or training.
Download the new indicators from the annual report indicator section.
On 11 June, Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, launched the ODI's consultation on the Right to Control. This right could significantly improve the way disabled people lead their lives.
Find out more about the Right to Control, and how to get involved with the consultation, on our Right to Control section.
Jonathan Shaw, the Minister for Disabled People, announced on 8 June that the UK will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York.
Read the minister's statement on our UN Convention section.
Adult Autism Strategy consultation at the Department of Health
The Department of Health is consulting on a future strategy for adults with autistic spectrum conditions. The consultation considers the vision and issues for five key themes:
- choice and control
- employment and training
- social inclusion
- awareness raising and training.
The Government is interested in hearing a wide range of views about how adults with autistic spectrum conditions can be supported to live full and inclusive lives, maximising their independence and well-being.
The consultation runs until 15 September 2009. Further details, including copies of the consultation document, can be found on the Department of Health consultation page (opens in Department of Health website).
Tim, who has been profoundly deaf since birth, has worked and volunteered in a range of disability roles over the past 25 years. He is currently Managing Director of the Shaw Trust’s Work & Independence Division.
Read more about Tim and his appointment on our press release page.
On 13 May 2009 Jonathan Shaw, the Minister for Disabled People, announced in a Ministerial Statement that Government is now finalising the processes to deposit the instrument of ratification for the Convention with the United Nations in New York, and aims to do this on the 8 June 2009.
Read the minister's statement on ratification. (PDF, 20KB, 2 pages)
The 2007/08 Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series was published today. The new data shows that there continue to be significant and substantial differences in risks of poverty between individuals in families where at least one member is disabled and families where no one is disabled.
See the new figures on our Annual Report indicators page, indicators C1 to C5.
The Office for Disability Issues has published a toolkit to help local authorities produce better information for disabled people.
The toolkit encourages councils to involve disabled people, produce accessible information, test their products, signpost to other services and have a disability champion.
View the toolkit on the Improving information page.
The Equality Bill 2009 was published on 27 April 2009. The Bill contains provisions protecting disabled people from discrimination arising from their disability and will extend protection from indirect discrimination to disabled people.
These changes were informed by the Consultation on Improving Protection from Disability Discrimination which ran from 26 November 2008 until 6 January 2009.The Government’s response to the Consultation can be found on our Equalities Bill page. For more information on the Equality Bill visit the Government Equalities Office website.
The Right to Control legislation has completed its passage through the House of Commons. It will go before the House of Lords shortly.
There were very positive comments from external stakeholders. Liz Sayce, Chief Executive of RADAR, commented:
“The Right to Control is absolutely transformative, and disabled people around the country really welcome it.”
Look out for more information coming soon on our Right to Control page.
On 3 March, Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, announced that the parliamentary process for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities had begun.
In a statement delivered to the House, he recognised this was an 'important step' and, linking the process to the UK's signing of the Optional Protocol, he continued:
"Together, these two actions send out a very strong signal – the Government is serious about achieving equality of human rights for disabled people and is making real progress towards its goal of disability equality by 2025. "
Find the full statement and documentation on our UN Convention page.
The Minister for Disabled People, Jonathan Shaw, attended the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Idaho, USA, on 7-9 February.
He accompanied the British team in the Parade of Athletes at the Opening Ceremony, watched the team compete in the alpine skiing assessments, and visited Special Olympics initiatives which promote awareness and understanding of learning disability among young people and health practitioners.
Jonathan Shaw said: “It was fantastic having the opportunity to go out and show my support to the British team, and to see first hand the enjoyment and confidence that the Special Olympics brings to the athletes – I congratulate the team on their great achievement of 13 medals. Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in sport, at all levels. It is one of the aims of our five-year Independent Living Strategy, launched in March 2008, that disabled people have greater access to leisure opportunities, including sport. So I am keen that the profile of disability sport is raised in this country.”
Following the Special Olympics, Jonathan Shaw visited a number of employment programmes for people with learning disabilities in Seattle, including a Project Search programme at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Project Search is a year long internship scheme which brings together funding from education providers with job coaches and a commitment from host employers.
The visit provided an opportunity to explore the scheme’s potential success in supporting people with learning disabilities into work, to inform thinking in this country about the extension of Project Search (currently being trialled in Norwich and Leicester) and the development of a broader learning disability employment strategy as part of the government’s work to deliver its socially excluded adults public service agreement (PSA16).
Raising expectations and increasing support: reforming welfare for the future
On Wednesday 10 December, the Government published its Welfare Reform White Paper. The paper outlines the steps needed to help disabled people build their capabilities and increase the power they have over their lives by legislating for disabled people to have a right to control certain services that they access.
Read the White Paper on the DWP website at www.dwp.gov.uk/raisingexpectations.
On Monday 19 January, Minister for Disabled People Jonathan Shaw visited a project that helps young people with learning disabilities to move into adult life.
The Getting a Life programme was set up last year and operates across nine sites. It is backed by the government, including the Office for Disability Issues.
Speaking at the Kent and Medway site, Jonathan Shaw said: “The Getting a Life project shows what young people with learning disabilities can achieve with the right kind of support.
“After speaking with a number of those who have gone through the programme, they are living proof that work can improve people's quality of life, and also that of their families and carers.”
Look out for more information about the Getting a Life project on this website soon.
Jonathan Shaw celebrates the International Day of Disabled People
Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, celebrated the International Day of Disabled People on 3rd December by seeing how supporting adults with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, and autism can help them to enjoy fulfilling, independent lives through training, volunteering or paid employment.
ODI Annual Report 2008 now available
The ODI annual report was published on 1 December 2008. It shows continuing work towards improving life chances for disabled people, including:
- £35 million committed to improving childcare provision for disabled children over the next three years
- An increase over the past year in the number of accessible buses, trains and stations
- Cross-government initiatives to improve recording and prosecution of disability-related hate crime
- A 20 per cent increase in the Disabled Facilities Grant in 2009, with a further six per cent scheduled for 2010
- A 60 per cent increase in disabled students’ allowances in the last year
Read the full report, including the Annex, on our annual report page.
Secretary of States Reports published
Eleven Secretaries of State publish reports on the progress they have made toward disability equality and their plans for further action. ODI has supported other government departments in production of the reports, which was launched at the ODI Annual Event held on 1 December. An overview of examples taken from all the reports has been produced by ODI. The ODI's reports overview, with links to the reports themselves, can be found on our Disability Equality Duty page.
Jonathan Shaw celebrates the international day of disabled people in Canterbury
Jonathan Shaw, Minister for Disabled People, celebrated the International Day of Disabled People on 3rd December by seeing first hand how supporting adults with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, and autism can help them to enjoy fulfilling, independent lives through training, volunteering or paid employment.
The Minister visited the Canterbury organisation mcch, which provides a range of services for people with different disabilities in an environment that aims to empower them. The organisation offers its users the opportunity to choose how they are supported and to control decisions that affect their lives.
Jonathan Shaw said: “It’s vital that we take time out to recognise how far we have come in supporting disabled people to live independently. Supporting someone to find voluntary work at their local library or helping them to access a course of interest at their local college means they play an active role in their community. Today I’ve seen how services like this can have a huge positive impact on people’s confidence levels.
“I’d like to thank mcch for inviting me to meet some of the inspirational people it supports. It’s great to see people with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and autism fulfilling their potential and gaining careers – I can’t think of a better way to recognise the International Day of Disabled People.”
Jonathan Shaw also met Lee Marie at her home in Canterbury. Lee has profound complex disabilities and has been supported by mcch for 14 years.
Karen Reed, mcch's area director for Kent and East Sussex, said:
"For Lee, her disability presented many barriers and one of the hardest but most important to get over was the one that prevented her from working – with mcch support Lee has been able to overcome many of these barriers and with the use of innovative technology will continue to develop her career within customer reception. Meeting Mr Shaw was inspiring and Lee and the people she lives with enjoyed the opportunity to demonstrate that being profoundly disabled does not mean that you do not have a meaningful life and that you can achieve your aspirations."
Read the ODI's Annual Report 2008.