The Coronavirus crisis has been a terrible, damaging time for many disabled people in our region. The impact has been felt in many ways – physical, mental and financial. However, this period has also opened up some new ways of delivering services and introduced new ways of working that are more accessible for many disabled people.
As we head into a huge recession, with backlogs in healthcare and the threat of further waves of COVID, disabled people face more damaging impacts that threaten to erode any progress we have made towards equality over recent years.
Now is the time to take stock, learn from our mistakes and plan for a fairer, better normal for disabled people.
A group of north east user-led charities, including Difference North East, Disability North, Inclusion North, United Response, Newcastle Vision Support, Just Fair, Recoco and Skills for People, has worked together to come up with a ‘Manifesto for a Better Normal’. Based on our experiences of supporting disabled people before and during the COVID crisis, we have set out aspects of policy and practice that have let disabled people down, and those that have helped and could continue to help as part of a new approach.
Contacts: full contact details are contained in the report for all those charities that have contributed to the Manifesto. Difference contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
EPIC Example – Alphabetti Theatre
Here’s an example of a great EPIC plan that’s been put in place at Newcastle’s Alphabetti Theatre. They’ve taken the opportunity of the forced closure to make some great changes to Alphabetti’s building, facilities and systems, with the overall aim of improving access for disabled audiences, performers and staff.
EPIC Example – Difference North East