Health and disability news updates and coming events from England and the U.K. of interest to senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
In the U.K. Directgov offers disabled people information on independent living, financial support, health and social services, employment and travel.
The U.K. Disability Discrimination Act - The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that many disabled people still face today.
This Act has been significantly extended, including by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. It now gives disabled people rights in the areas of:
- Access to goods, facilities and services, including larger private clubs and transport services
- Buying or renting land or property, including making it easier for disabled people to rent property and for tenants to make disability-related adaptations
- Accessing everyday goods and services like shops, cafes, banks, cinemas and places of worship
- Accessing or becoming a member of a larger private club (25 or more members)
- Accessing the functions of public bodies, like the issuing of licenses for example
The Act requires public bodies to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. It also allows the government to set minimum standards so that disabled people can use public transport easily.
Employers in England will no longer be able to force workers to retire before 65, unless they can justify it. The government has announced that firms will be barred from 2006 from imposing arbitrary retirement ages. Under age discrimination proposals from the Department of Trade and Industry workers are allowed to work on till 70 if they wish. Many retired people in the U.K. do not claim all the benefits that they are entitled to. Benefit rules are not needlessly generous so if you qualify for any help you should take up your entitlement. There are two main types of benefits: means tested and non means tested.
Statistics: Quick U.K. Disability
- The most commonly-reported impairments are those that affect mobility, lifting or carrying.
- The North East of England has the highest proportion of disabled people, accounting for 22 per cent of the population.
- There are over 11 million people with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability - 45 per cent are males - 55 per cent are females.
- The prevalence of disability rises with age. Around 6% of children are disabled, compared to 16% of working age adults and 45% of adults over State Pension age.