Slow change to address equality for islanders with disabilities but 'momentum' behind the movement

Guernsey's Chief Minister has said "very little has changed" and that progress in implementing the island's disability strategy in 2013 has been "painfully slow".

Five years on and only three of its 13 priorities are on track. The States is currently working on a new over-arching law, similar to those in Ireland and Australia, to cover a range of areas including disability. It is due to come into effect by 2020.

Speaking to ITV Channel Television, Deputy Gavin St Pier said the government has not made as much progress as they would have liked but there is now momentum behind it. He added that the enactment of an Equalities Law is critical, to change attitudes as well as inform, educate and raise awareness.

Gavin St Pier & Aindre Reece-Sheerin navigate the high street in St Peter Port using a wheelchair Credit: ITV Channel TV

Deputy St Pier joined one of the island's disability campaigners, Aindre Reece-Sheerin, to see what it was like to try to navigate the high street in St Peter Port, using a wheelchair and then wearing glasses that simulate a visual impairment.

Meanwhile, Jersey's Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondre also said while there has been slow progress, equality for islanders with disabilities is a key element of the strategic plan being worked on by the island's Council of Ministers. Jersey's disability strategy was introduced last year, with a full review due to take place in 2022, while legislation came into effect in September.

Senator Le Fondre also said that government representatives will be meeting with Guernsey counterparts in just over a week's time, to see what they can learn from their sister island.