Advisory group set up to give disabled people a voice in government

The government has set up a disability advisory group to represent the rights of disabled people in discussions about policies and public services.

A group of 12 will advise on the issues facing disabled people and help to establish a national forum for disability over the next six months.

The group will be chaired by Bruce Calderwood, director of the office for disability issues and Alun Davies, adult care planning manager at North Somerset District Council.

Calderwood said the priority was to ensure the panel gave a voice to disabled people, who may not otherwise be heard.

“The government is committed to ensuring real equality for disabled people. This can only happen if there’s genuine engagement and dialogue with disabled people,” he said.

The forum was recommended by the prime minister’s strategy unit report, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, in January 2005.

The report set out the government’s vision for disabled people.

“By 2020, disabled people in Britain should have full opportunities and choices to improve their quality of life and will be respected and included as equal member of society”, it said.

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