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“Disabled people are always the afterthought”

By Aliyah Butt

Covid-19 has become a threat to the disabled community, with two thirds of coronavirus deaths in the UK being within this community itself.

59% of deaths involving Covid-19 from March 2nd to July 14th were of disabled people, According to the Office for National statistics. This proves the vulnerability of disabled people and the need to keep them safeguarded during this pandemic.

The economic recession that took place after lockdown has caused an increased number of disabled individuals being excluded from society without any type of support. According to Scope.org, around 1 in 4 disabled people feel forgotten by the government right now.

Nana Marfo, 34, freelance disabled advocate and writer and founder of unique abilities Ltd said: “Disabled people are always the afterthought. Disabled people have always been neglected. When it comes to funding disabled people are always cut off and when it comes to even our care plans.”

“I think the government is at fault. They don’t understand disability. They don’t understand the magnitude of people with vulnerable needs. When it comes to sustaining life for disabled people, they always find cross cutting ways to attend to a person’s needs”

Nana Marfo, along with other people and institutions like himself, has become a voice for disabled individuals to claim their rights and support from the government.

Many institutions and charities stand by disabled individuals to get the support and help they need. Scope is a disability equality charity in England and Wales aiming “to provide practical information and emotional support when it’s most needed” and to “campaign relentlessly to create a fairer society.”

Scope has become one of those support systems for those who are disabled and have created the campaign ‘we won’t be forgotten’. On Thursday 17th September, this organisation handed an open letter to the Prime Minister including 30,696 signatures. This letter is a way of expressing the rights and needs of disabled individuals who need to be protected.

According to the Scope: 7 in 10 disabled adults (73.6%) reported to be “very worried” about the effect that the pandemic was having on their lives. This highlights the social, mental and financial effects that these individuals may have to face due to the lack of support given from others.

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