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New Office for Disability Issues announced

19th September 2005

The Secretary for Work and Pensions has announced a new Office for Disability Issues will be established later this year as part of ensuring services are fit around the individual, rather than the individual having to fit rigid services.

Speaking in Canada, David Blunkett described a parallel determination in both countries to end disability discrimination.

Mr Blunkett said there were lessons to be shared and one way forward was to put decision making and, where possible, the finance to achieve this, into the hands of people with disabilities.

He said: "Rather than people fitting into services - services need to fit to individuals. Every person with a disability should have the power to choose the support and services they need from a wide range of possibilities that exist within a given community.

"We want to ensure individuals have control where possible over budgets so they themselves can handpick services. This is a key driver in our ambitious strategy to tackle inequality for people with disabilities within a generation.

Mr Blunkett said the programme would be co-ordinated by an Office for Disability Issues, which will be responsible for driving action and delivery across the whole of government and linking with the work of the Disability Rights Commission.