Covid-19: Disabled People

Women and Equalities – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 17th June 2020.

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Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Shadow Minister (Education) 11:34 am, 17th June 2020

What recent assessment the Government have made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled people.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Government are committed to supporting disabled people through the covid-19 outbreak and beyond. We continue to monitor its impact on disabled people and those with a health condition, using existing and new data sources to improve our understanding.

Photo of Emma Hardy Emma Hardy Shadow Minister (Education)

Many people with disabilities and parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities have contacted me, feeling very fearful that they will face abuse for not wearing a face covering on public transport. Labour supports the use of face coverings, but the Government’s messaging needs to be very clear. Will they ensure that their public advertising campaign includes and explains the exemptions and look at supporting local charities that are trying to address that?

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I thank the hon. Lady for raising this point. We need to recognise that some people with disabilities face particular difficulty when it comes to social distancing and are impacted on by the reaction of others due to their inability to socially distance—I understand, particularly, the situation for young children. I reassure her that the Department for Transport has revised transport guidance for travellers and operators and considers the details needed for disabled travellers. I hope that that reassures her.