Daily Mirror Highlights Disability Awareness Campaign

From getting washed and dressed in the morning, to looking for work and eating out, disabled people face enormous challenges to live meaningful lives, that are often overlooked by the able-bodied. The Daily Mirror has joined forces with disability rights organisations to help raise awareness of the everyday challenges life can present.

One of the biggest challenges people with limited mobility face is the lack of accessible housing in the UK. Only 9% of homes in England have key accessibility features, such as a disabled walk in shower. It is estimated that up to 400,000 wheelchair users in the UK live in homes which have no adaptations at all to meet their needs.

Being able to wash independently, or with the assistance of a carer, is one of the key features of a home that allows disabled people to live independently and with dignity. In many cases, grants are available to help with the cost of the adaptations or aids that could make life safer and easier for thousands of people.

Disabled people often struggle with hidden costs of living, which are even more difficult to meet at the current time. For example, a kitchen that doesn’t have adjusted height worktops or ovens means that the occupant may have to buy more expensive ready meals, because they can’t prepare their own.

They may also need to run essential healthcare equipment 24/7, which takes up a lot of electricity, or keep the heating on high because of respiratory problems or chronic pain. All these costs have jumped hugely over the past couple of years, on top of limited access to services and respite care during the pandemic.

Disabled people also face discrimination in the workplace, if they are able to secure full-time employment at all. Far fewer disabled than non-disabled people have jobs, even though they may be just as capable. The majority of the issues arise from lack of access, through steep steps, narrow corridors, inadequate toilets, and so on.

Lack of accessible toilets are a major barrier that prevents many people with limited mobility enjoying the things in life that the rest of us take for granted, such as eating in a restaurant, staying in a hotel, or visiting a museum or theme park.

Even when there is a disabled loo, many of them have poorly maintained grab rails, the loo roll is out of reach, and the emergency pull cord has been rolled out and left out of reach, so in the event of a fall, an individual may not be able to raise the alarm.

Furthermore, public transport is often impossible for a wheelchair user to contemplate, whether through step-only platforms access, or disabled seats being taken over with buggies and luggage.

All these problems prevent people who could live active lives and make a meaningful contribution to society from doing so. This is why campaigns such as those endorsed by the Mirror are calling on the government, businesses, and organisations, to do more to create a more equal and inclusive society.

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