Guernsey lags behind

99% of people live in countries that have signed the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Guernsey is in the remaining 1% along with Somalia and Kosovo.

Just one example of where Guernsey lags behind the rest of the world – our lack of disability discrimination legislation.  We have no specific legal protection on the grounds of disability for people who are treated unfairly in employment, or in education, or when buying goods and services.

The Disability and Inclusion Strategy

To address this, Guernsey adopted a Disability Strategy in 2013.  The Strategy is:

  1.  an overall intent by the States to change the way Guernsey thinks about disability and ensure disabled islanders and carers are included
  2.  a set of projects that were identified as priorities based on a Disability Needs Survey that went to 6500 Bailiwick households in 2012.

When the Disability Strategy was passed by the States in November 2013, deputies allocated a budget of £250,000 to cover the first two years of work.  The largest part of this funding was intended to create an information service for disabled people and carers and to run government awareness campaigns. The first part of this project has begun with the launch of Signpost.gg, the States of Guernsey guide for parents and carers to support, services and activities in the island.

In Nov 2015, Policy Council presented an Update Report on the Strategy to the States.  This indicated that progress was slow and only 30% of the budget had been spend.  The report said this was because not enough skilled civil service resource had been made available to complete the projects.

The States agreed to roll over the remaining funding  so it could be spent in 2016 and 2017, and also agreed that there should be a further progress report in November 2017.  At the beginning of the new States term, responsibility for the Strategy will transfer from Policy Council to the new Committee for Employment and Social Security.

#MakeItReal

More information

The States’ original intentions for the Disability Strategy
The nine projects that make up the Strategy.
GDA analysis of the States Update Report.
Chief Minister’s reaction to the Update.
States Update Report in full (see page 2877).