Office for Disability Issues

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 19th September 2018.

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Photo of Baroness Thomas of Winchester Baroness Thomas of Winchester Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what projects the Office for Disability Issues are currently working on.

Photo of Baroness Buscombe Baroness Buscombe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) works across government to support and develop policies that deliver the Government vision - to create a society that works for everyone, where all can participate fully, and be included in society.

Departments have a responsibility to make sure their policies take account of disabled people and we are supporting a wide range of Departments across Government to fulfil their obligations to disabled people.

As well as seeking to support a range of departments on issues such as built environment, employment, transport, social care, education, sport etc - current ODI led projects include:

  • Developing and supporting the new Disability and Society Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG), chaired by the Rt Hon Esther McVey – to drive forward action across government to tackle the barriers disabled people face to realise their full participation in society, including increasing disability employment rates and improving access to culture, sport and transport.
  • Working across departments to further the implementation of the UN Convention Rights of Disabled People, reviewing the recommendations from the UN review in 2017 to address key issues and report as required to the UN.
  • Reinvigorating Government stakeholder engagement to ask disabled people what issues they want Government to address as priorities, and input at the right stages to inform policy development and delivery. This includes delivering new face to face and online forums across England, enabling and encouraging individuals and user led organisations across England to play an active part in shaping government policy.
  • Working with fourteen Ministerial appointed Sector Champions to work within their sector identifying barriers disabled people face and working pro-actively to remove them where possible.
  • OpenLab – curating a website and virtual community that promotes technology and technological developments for disabled people.
  • Accessible communications – leading a project to help other departments fulfil their obligations under the Equality Act and raise awareness in Government of the need for information to be provided in alternative communications formats for some disabled people. Producing guidance for all departments to support them.
  • Working with the assistance dog sector to design a standard to address issues concerning access to services

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