We at RNID are incredibly disappointed that the Prime Minister has made the decision to remove the vital role of Minister for Disabled People.
We are deeply alarmed by Rishi Sunak’s decision to remove the role of Minister for Disabled People. It’s a vital role that should have been enhanced, not downgraded. The 16 million deaf and disabled people in the UK need a cross-Government champion with the license to work across Whitehall and fully represent disabled people, not a part-timer with another job to do.
People who are deaf or have hearing loss face barriers right across society. Two-thirds of people who are deaf and use BSL are out of work, four in five deaf people have turned up to a healthcare appointment and found there is no communication support, and societal barriers mean that everyday activities such as watching TV or getting a train can be an ordeal. These challenges, added to the cost-of-living crisis which disproportionately affects deaf and disabled people, means a high-profile Government advocate is more necessary than ever.
The Prime Minister needs to take personal responsibility for this decision and explain how the new arrangements will strengthen the voice of disabled people, not weaken it. And he needs to do that now.