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Disability Strategy

Volume 552: debated on Monday 5 November 2012

Fulfilling Potential, our disability strategy, is being co-produced with disabled people. We published “Fulfilling Potential—The Discussions So Far” and “Fulfilling Potential—Next Steps” on 17 September. Our key themes, which we intend to make a real difference, are early intervention, choice and control, and inclusive communities.

Can the Minister explain what the role of the disabled people’s user-led organisations will be in the strategy?

I can indeed. User-led groups will be a key element in everything that we do. It is essential for disabled people and their organisations to be at the heart of that. We have also created a £3 million fund, and I was delighted to be in Redbridge last week when we delivered £1 million of it.

An important part of the disability strategy is to get people into work. Can the Minister tell us what proportion of the people in the work-related activity group who have been mandated to join the Work programme have actually found work?

The figures have not been published yet, but as soon as they are published, I will give the hon. Lady the information.

There are many excellent disability organisations in the Bradford district, notably the Bradford and Airedale mental health advocacy group. Can such groups join the disability action alliance to help with the Government’s strategy, or will they be excluded from it?

We are trying to reach out to as many user-led groups as possible. Those who want to become part of the alliance should visit fulfilling.potential@dwp.gsi.gov.uk. Everyone is welcome: we want the strategy to be embedded in all our local communities.

Given the cumulative impact of welfare reform on disabled people and the criticism of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, can the Minister explain how the disability strategy will comply with the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities?

It fully conforms with the UN rights. In fact, we are a world leader in that regard. It has been noted that we are—as I have said—reaching out to all disability groups and disabled people, and I have given the House the address of the website.