Disabled people feel 'abandoned' and 'sidelined' during Covid crisis

In researching how disabled people are being supported in this crisis, I was shocked by what many of them told me.

Some say they feel “abandoned” others described a “breakdown in trust” with the government and others spoke of the “nightmare” of feeling sidelined.

On Thursday,MPs debated Covid-19 and disability, but some individuals most directly affected by the issues believe this attention is too little too late.Disability groups point to what they see as a timetable of worrying government decisions:

  • Many disabled people were left off shielding lists

  • Coronavirus legislation relaxed councils' duties to provide services

  • Care homes were not getting PPE priority

  • Mask rules came out but with little publicity of exemptions

Repeatedly I heard from disabled people that their feelings of fear and isolation were worsened by what they regard as poor communication.

The fact that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s coronavirus press conferences lacked a sign language interpreter is seen as a signal of a far wider attitude.

Disabled individuals and the groups that represent them feel that they are not being consulted.

People who often feel invisible and ignored now fear that the cost of that may be higher than ever.