Accessible services needed, says report

One in five disabled people face difficulties obtaining access to
social services, according to a new report by disability charity
Leonard Cheshire.

The charity wants the government to ensure that all primary care
trusts make their services fully accessible to all disabled people
by October 2004.

Inclusive Citizenship paints a disappointing picture of
disabled people experiencing significant exclusion from all types
of primary health care, including doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries,
hospital accident and emergency units as well as community and
social services.

It found that disabled people are twice as likely to have problems
accessing services as the general population.

Profoundly deaf people and wheelchair users were the groups most
likely to find social services inaccessible or inadequate, the
survey of more than 500 disabled people found.

Head of policy at Leonard Cheshire John Knight said: “We are
calling on the government, in partnership with disabled people, to
lead an awareness campaign that will help primary care service
providers to deliver effective and accessible services.

“It is important to realise that access is not just about ramps and
lifts – equally important is flexibility of services and effective
communication,” he added.

– Inclusive Citizenship from 020 7802 8265

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