How the Strategy came about
- In 2011 the States appointed a Disability Officer who commissioned two Disability Needs Surveys.
- These surveys explored the needs of disabled islanders, family members and carers.
- The first survey looked at the number of people living with long-term health conditions or disabilities, as well as the number of carers (see download on this page).
- The second survey looked at the experiences of disabled people and people who care for someone with a disability (see download on this page).
- The surveys provided information which informed the Disability and Inclusion Strategy.
- The Disability and Inclusion Strategy was agreed by the States of Deliberation in November 2013 (see download on this page).
What the Disability and Inclusion Strategy aims to achieve
- The purpose of the Strategy is to improve the quality of life of disabled islanders and their carers through changing attitudes.
- The Vision is to sustainably transform society so that disabled people and carers can be active and engaged socially, economically and culturally.
- It is intended that the Strategy will do this by:
- Improving opportunities for disabled people and carers to participate across society.
- Promoting more positive and inclusive attitudes towards disability in the community.
- Challenging instances of disadvantage facing disabled islanders and/or carers.
- For more information please see the Disability Strategy Outcomes PDF on this page.
Projects within the Disability and Inclusion Strategy
- 1. Extending the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities to Guernsey to confirm the island's commitment to respect the rights of its disabled citizens.
- 2. Introducing legislation to protect disabled islanders and carers from discrimination.
- 3. Creating an Equality and Rights Organisation to promote the rights of disabled people and carers and other groups at risk of discrimination.
- 4. Improving the information available to disabled people and carers about support and services.
- 5. Commissioning an audit of the States' employment practices, buildings and services to ensure they meet the new legislation, new policies and plans.
- 6. Creating an Employment Trust to help disabled people to gain and maintain employment, and providing information for businesses in preparation for the legislation
- 7. Developing frameworks for Autism, Learning Disability and Dementia that set out how people with these specific conditions are diagnosed and supported.
- 8. Introducing a Capacity Law to empower and protect people who may not be able to make decisions for themselves.
- 9. Developing safeguarding policies to protect vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect.
Update report on the Strategy Nov 2015
- In Nov 2015, Policy Council presented an Update on the Strategy (see page 2877 of Billet XX November 2015, available to download on page). 30% of the funding had been spent and due to resources progress had not been as expected on the strategy.
- 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.
States Departments responses to the Disability and Inclusion Strategy
- The Chief Minister, Deputy Jonathan le Tocq, asked each States Department to identify work done in the last 18 months in support of the Disability and Inclusion Strategy.
- The letters he received in response are included in an Appendix to the Update Report on the Disability and Inclusion Strategy (see download on this page) and make really interesting reading. For example, did you know that the Housing Department has changed its eligibility criteria so that more disabled people can access social housing?
- To help you access the letters easily, just use the links below.
So where are we now in 2016? What is working well?
- States Departments have been taking account of the Strategy when developing new policies and plans. For example the Transport Strategy has a separate budget for improving transport options for disabled people.
- The States Committees will take part in a self-audit, reviewing how well they meet the needs of disabled islanders and carers in Autumn 2016.
- The Orchard Clinic, Oberlands Centre and Wheelchair Services have involved disabled people in the development of services. These are good examples of working in true partnership and the States intends to involve its customers more frequently in decisions about services.
- Guernsey Airport along with Aurigny Airlines have participated in disability awareness training so that they provide a better quality of service for disabled people and carers using their services.
- Accessible Taxis
- As part of the Transport Strategy, the Environment Department has granted four new licences to taxis that are fully accessible. All of the drivers are trained to assist people with mobility, visual or hearing impairments and learning disabilities.
- The voices of disabled people and carers have been heard in a wide range of consultations, including the Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP) and the Supported Living and Ageing Well Strategy (SLAWS).
- The Guernsey Employment Trust has been set up to help disabled people find and maintain employment.
- Electoral Reform: removing barriers and eliminating discrimination against disabled people. This is a significant step forward and demonstrates that the States of Guernsey are serious about equality.
- Information about access arrangements are available on our DisabledGo Guernsey website. This website provides factual information about access arrangements for States buildings as well as good and services across Guernsey. There are over 600 venues on the site and we will add more venues in 2016 and 2017.
- Improved application for the issuing of disabled parking badges.
- The Capacity Legislation is ahead of schedule and has been debated in the States.
- New website
- One of the big changes this year is the development of this website 'signpost.gg'. You asked for information on services and support networks in Guernsey for disabled people and carers. Welcome to your website and do give us feedback at the bottom of the page so that we can continue to improve it.
- For more information, please follow this link.
- Update on the CYPP
- The Children and Young People's Plan for 2016-2022 was debated by the States February.
- The Plan contains six Key Commitments supporting four Priority Outcomes for children and young people, to ensure that they are included and respected; achieve individual and economic potential; are healthy and active; and are safe and nurtured.
- Subject to States approval, the vision is that implementing the Plan will create an integrated system providing the right help at the right time with the right outcomes for all children and young people.
- Within the Plan there are four specific action areas targeted at improving inclusion and participation of children and young people with disabilities; and one for providing support to carers.
- Children with additional support needs will also be able to access a 'one-stop shop' for referrals and coordinated planning to meet their support needs through the Multi-Agency Support Hub.
- The creation of the lead professional and 'team around the child' approach means that all children with disabilities and enduring support needs will also have a multi-disciplinary plan that is adapted as they grow older to reflect their changing needs, and to manage key points of transition in their lives.
- Full details of the Children and Young People's Plan can be found by following this link.
- Parent and carers of children with disabilities have been involved with the development of the CYPP. If you want to be involved or to understand more please contact Wigwam's chair, Debbie Aldous, on firstname.lastname@example.org,gg. Alternatively you can call Wigwam on (01481) 521678 or 07839 121678.
- Update on the Emotional Health and Well-being Strategy
- The Bailiwick of Guernsey 'Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy' was approved by the States of Deliberation on 27 February 2013. It is a cross-departmental strategy, led by the Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) providing a framework within which all areas of the island community can begin to work together towards better mental wellbeing.
- The Strategy is aimed at everyone, from the Mental Health Services to the Criminal Justice System and through to employers, service users and carers. It has to embrace the needs of everyone and will be delivered very much in partnership with a number of departments, charities, health professionals and individuals.The Strategy is divided into six themes: Starting, Growing and Developing Well; Living Well; Working Well; Ageing Well; Tackling Stigma and Discrimination; and Caring for the Carers. It also explores the challenges of promoting good mental health across the whole population; supporting people to manage their mental health better; and acting to meet people's needs with appropriate, flexible services geared towards individual needs and focused on personal recovery.
- Significant work has taken place during the strategy's first 2 years, but with no formal implementation framework to bring it all together, there is no way to evaluate how successful it has been. In July 2015 Guernsey Mind was commissioned to prepare an implementation plan for the Strategy with leadership from the Policy Council and HSSD and funded by The Community Foundation. Over the next 18 months Guernsey Mind will work to condense the original report and put it into a concise working document that everyone will be able to understand, identify some key strategic objectives for the strategy, identify what this means for the local community, and prepare a detailed action plan for 2016-2020. The project will involve in-depth research programmes including an island wide mental health survey, an analysis of gaps in service provision, the formation of an Expert By Experience Group and detailed interviews with mental health service users about what they want and need. There will also be a celebration of the range of services that are already being provided with the publication of a 'Mentally Healthy Guernsey' Report, and a public campaign to increase awareness about what is available.
Who will the Strategy help?
- The Strategy is targeted at disabled Islanders and carers.
How many disabled people are there in Guernsey?
- In 2012, the States conducted a Disability Needs Survey which estimated that there are 4,000 Islanders in Guernsey and Alderney with a long-term condition and who experience significant difficulty in everyday life. That's an estimated 6% of the population who it is anticipated will benefit most from the Strategy. The Strategy focuses here.
- People experiencing significant difficulty are part of an estimated total of just under 14,000 people (21% of the population) in Guernsey and Alderney with a long term condition that affects their day to day life. Potentially anyone with such a condition might experience discrimination, therefore, when developing disability equality legislation, all people with a long-term condition need to be considered.
- You can download Stage One and Stage Two of the Disability Needs Survey from this page.
How many family members and friends care for a disabled person?
- When the Strategy refers to carers we mean anyone who provides informal, unpaid care, not paid professional carers or nurses. Carers may be family, friends and relations who support another person. They might not consider themselves carers, but play an important role in the life of a disabled Islander.
- It is estimated that 8% of households in Guernsey have at least one person who provides informal or unpaid care for a family member, relative or friend. This adds up to around 2,080 households or an estimated minimum of 3% of the population (some households might have more than one carer).
What would Guernsey's disability legislation look like?
- Guernsey has no specific legislation to prevent discrimination against disabled people. That means that if a disabled Islander is being discriminated against there is often very little he or she can do about it.
- The vast majority of discrimination in Guernsey is not deliberate. People just make assumptions or do not think about the impact of the way they do things. For example, someone might assume that a blind person cannot use a computer and therefore does not shortlist that person for a job - a job that he or she could do easily with the help of the right equipment.
- One benefit of being later to introduce discrimination legislation, compared with other countries, is that we can learn from others. The Guernsey legislation will be designed for Guernsey, looking at best practice around the world. It will not be a duplicate of the UK law. The aim is for the States to work in consultation with businesses and disabled Islanders to develop simple legislation that everyone can understand.
- It is likely that these changes to legislation will take around two years before protection against discrimination will be in place.
- On its own, disability legislation is not enough to ensure that attitudes improve and disabled Islanders and carers can become more fully included in Island life. Most people want to do the right thing; they are just not confident about what to do. Legislation therefore must be combined with information - both are needed to ensure that changes are made.
What exactly is the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)?
- The Convention is a set of rules and promises which most governments in the world have helped develop and have now adopted.
- The rules and promises within the Convention help governments focus on what needs to be done to make their societies more inclusive and less disabling. It also means that progress will be monitored.
- You can find a more detailed guide to the UNCRPD by following this link.
The States of Guernsey is committed to building an inclusive and caring society and removing barriers to equality, social inclusion and social justice. This means enabling all people to participate fully in education, employment, social life and politics. It means valuing all people and giving everyone the chance to maximise their own potential. It means not disabling people by creating a physical environment that excludes them or services which don't meet their individual needs.
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