22 October 2018
The first annual progress report of the Disability Strategy Delivery Group has been published today. The Delivery Group is responsible for driving forward Jersey’s Disability Strategy, published in May 2017.
The strategy aims to improve the wellbeing of Islanders with disabilities, and to challenge the inequalities faced by disabled people in Jersey. The strategy has five priorities:
- improve communication support and access to information
- enable greater access to the island
- ensure good health and wellbeing
- improve access to education, employment and enriching activities
- establish equal rights and experience equality in all areas
This progress report highlights recent achievements across the five priorities.
Ant Lewis is a member of the Disability Strategy Delivery Group and a disability campaigner. Ant has Aphasia, a communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language, and he said:
‘‘Progress. This is a cause that is important to me.
Changing, bit by bit.
But, maybe faster progress? Yes.
Positively taking the Island forward.”
Progress on the Disability Strategy this year includes:
- enhanced online information - Visit Jersey has launched an ‘Accessible Tourism Guide’
- the Love Jersey app now allows Islanders to instantly report problems with disabled access across the Island, including inaccessible curbs and street features
- establishment of the first ever Disability Culture working group, bringing together leading agencies including Jersey Heritage, Jersey Arts Centre, Jersey Opera House and Arthouse Jersey
- an updated Special Educational Needs Code of Practice was published in February, ensuring high quality provision and promoting inclusion for children with disabilities
- discrimination (Disability) Jersey Regulations 2018 came into effect on 1 September, protecting disabled Islanders against discrimination
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “This report shows that we are making good progress and we must continue to do so. The Council of Ministers has recognised the importance of this issue within the proposed Common Strategic Policy, which acknowledges the need to focus on inequality in Jersey. Delivery of the Disability Strategy is central to driving forward the proposed priority of reducing income inequality and improving the standard of living.”
Malcom Ferey from Citizens Advice and member of the Strategy Delivery Group said: “A major development this year has been the introduction of the disability discrimination regulations. Citizens Advice and JACS helped produce a guide to the regulations, enabling businesses and individuals to better understand their rights and responsibilities. This has been a great step forward in terms of equal rights and equality for Jersey citizens and puts our legislation on a par with the UK Equality Act.”
The Disability Strategy progress report is available in both standard version and large print format. The next progress report will be released in the autumn of 2019.