Department for Work and Pensions
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Fulfilling potential: disabled people asked to shape Government policy

Disabled people and their organisations are being invited to help shape future policy and develop a new cohesive cross-government disability strategy.

This will be a key part of the Government’s commitment to breaking down the barriers to social mobility and equal opportunities faced by disabled people in Britain.

Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller said:

"The Government is committed to enabling disabled people to fulfil their potential and have the opportunity to play a full role in their community.

"Some of the barriers in society which stop that happening have been removed over the past 40 years but there is far more to do, even at a time when the country’s finances are under great pressure.

"Working with disabled people I now want to ensure that there is a clear focus in place across Government so that the money that is available takes full account of disabled people.

"This week’s International Day celebrates the contribution of disabled people across the Globe and by working together we can ensure that this country remains a worldwide leader in disability equality."

The Government inherited a wide range of strategic thinking including the Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People report, the Independent Living Strategy, and the Roadmap 2025. It will build on this and on the UK’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

A discussion document published today - Fulfilling Potential - outlines three main areas for discussion: realising aspirations, increasing individual control and changing attitudes and behaviours. It seeks practical ways of making a real difference to disabled people’s lives.

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive, Disability Rights UK said:

"Disabled people face significant change in the support and services we use.  One unified Disability Strategy from Government would be very welcome to shape the changes and help measure success.  Disability Rights UK very much encourages disabled people and disability organisations to be involved in co-producing the final Strategy."

Following a three month engagement period, the Government will publish its new, co-produced strategy in spring next year.

Please visit for more details of how to take part.

Notes to Editors:

1. Fulfilling potential: a discussion document is available from potential. It is also available in audio, Braille, Easy Read and a summary is available in British Sign Language.

2. The Government wants to hear from disabled people, as well as the people and organisations that support them. Comments can be submitted online or by email ( until 9 March 2012.

3. We are also encouraging disabled people and their organisations to run their own events to respond to the discussion document. We will make a discussion guide available on the ODI website to help them do this:

4. We also have a small budget to help smaller organisations with the expenses of running an event – for example hiring a venue, interpreters or running an online survey.  If you would like to take advantage of this fund please contact by 13th January, telling us what support you need.

5. A discussion document published yesterday - Fulfilling Potential - outlines three main areas for discussion:

Realising aspirations – Ensuring appropriate support and intervention at key life transitions to realise disabled people’s expectations and aspirations for education, work and independent living.

Individual control – Enabling disabled people to make their own choices and have the right opportunities to live independently.

Changing attitudes and behaviour - Promoting positive attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people to enable them to participate in community life and wider society, tackling discrimination and harassment wherever they occur.

6. International Day of Disabled People is 3 December 2011, a day established by the UN General Assembly. This year’s theme is involving disabled people in developing policy.

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