Disability support is improving in places all over the UK but there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. The place that is leading the way, and somewhere that the rest of the UK should look toward for inspiration, is Wales. Wales is pioneering the way in terms of disability support and this is evident in a few different ways.
England has just taken a big step in disability support by making those with “hidden disabilities” eligible for Blue Badge permits – this enables people with a disability to park for free or without a time limit in otherwise restricted places. These “hidden disabilities” include drivers and passengers with conditions such as dementia, autism and anxiety disorders. While this is a positive step for England, it is something that Wales and Scotland implemented a while ago.
Following on from this, Wales is somewhere that you will find a lot of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). These are automobiles which have been adapted so that somebody in a wheelchair can easily, comfortably and safely ride in an automobile and possibly drive in some cases. These automobiles are available from places like Allied Mobility and can take the stress out of planning trips out which can be a real headache when you consider how expensive and unreliable public transport can be.
North Wales Together
Another good example is the recent service introduced across North Wales for disabled people in this region. North Wales Together is a service for those with learning disabilities with an aim to make sure that health and social services work together to improve support for those with learning difficulties. There are fives areas of focus which are integrated working, workforce development, assistive technology, commissioning and procurement and community and culture change.
Wales’ progressive approach to disability support was again in the news lately with the announcement of a 28-year-old support worker who has been shortlisted in the National Learning Disabilities and Autism awards in Wales. Hannah Bernard is a facilitator at the National Star which offers those with learning and physical disabilities a sensory-based curriculum which can help to build students’ confidence, independence and social skills. It is a positive sign to see such positive and forward-thinking work being carried out by young people who clearly have a passion for helping those with a wide range of disabilities.
As you can see, Wales is a great example of disability support and taking action to improve the lives of those with a disability and those that care for them. Things are moving forward all over the UK but there is still a lot of work which needs to be done to provide support to those that need it most.