20 years on from the DDA – what are the key challenges today?

Have just read through the latest ‘How Fair is Britain?’ report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which although somewhat selective in its focus highlights a number of  key challenges for disability rights:


  • Evidence suggests that the 2012 Paralympic Games did not improve attitudes towards disabled people and that many continued to experience both unconscious bias and open hostility

Children and education

  • Educational attainment of children with SEN has risen since 2010, but attainment among children without SEN rose faster, widening the gap.
  • Disabled children are more likely to be bullied
  • Children with SEN are more likely to be excluded from school
  • In 2013 disabled young people are less likely to be in employment, education or training, though the gap has narrowed since 2008

Employment and incomes

  • The unemployment rate of disabled people has risen since the last report in 2010, despite reports of increased numbers of disabled people moving into paid employment
  • Disabled people experienced a greater decline in average pay than other groups between 2010 and 2015
  • For disabled people above the official poverty line, material deprivation increased as did the poverty gap between disabled and non disabled people of working age


  • In England, the proportion of disabled people who reported bad or very bad health increased between 2008 and 2012, whereas there was a reduction for non- disabled people.

Independent living

  • People with learning disabilities and/or autism were placed in inappropriate settings for too long and a long distance from family and home owing to a lack of good-quality alternatives in the local community
  • There has been insufficient action to eliminate inhuman and degrading treatment in such facilities

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