Equality for disabled Londoners

Disabled people have been affected by the pandemic in a number of ways including not being able to access food, worsening mental health, feeling lonely and feeling like a burden on others. 

Between 2 March – 14 July 2020, disabled people made up 6 in 10 (59%) of all Covid-19 deaths despite making up only 16% of the population. 

These inequalities experienced by disabled people are unacceptable. 

As Mayor, I will do everything within my power to end these inequalities so that disabled Londoners are able to live a safe, fulfilling and joyful life, free from discrimination, inequality and hatred.

I will listen to disabled people and co-produce solutions together. As Mayor, I will include disabled Londoners and disabled organisations in policy-making at the highest level across all areas of the Mayor’s work, appoint a disability equality policy adviser and appoint disabled people to the London Health Board to ensure that all my strategies consider disabled people.

A Green Mayor will recognise the social model of disability and ensure that all disabled people are able to benefit from homes, jobs, skills and all the other opportunities we can provide.

Access for all

Disabled people in London have told me about how difficult it is to travel around our city. I will work with disabled people to remove barriers and improve access:   

  • I will commit funds to the London Access Forum and to making public transport and more underground stations accessible for more people with disabilities and mobility difficulties more quickly with new funding. This will include improvements in step-free access and toilets across the travel network and prioritise disabled and older passengers on non-emergency taxi journeys.
  • I will work with boroughs to deliver a fit-for-purpose blue badge scheme which is consistent across London and increase the number of blue badge parking bays in the city.
  • I will design a new standard bus stop for London with shade and seating that is suitable for older and disabled people
  • Our new bus investment will prioritise accessibility and improve bus journey experience for disabled people. I will optimise access and space for people of all ages and needs and specify more space on newly commissioned buses so that two wheelchair users can travel together on the bus.

I will also ensure cycle routes benefit disabled people who use electronic wheelchair attachments, scooters and cycles as their main mode of independent transport. I will ensure that lane widths and access points along the routes meet accessibility standards, minimising tight turns, difficult slopes, obstacles and fast-moving traffic.

Housing for all 

For disabled people, bidding for council homes is far more difficult, and more time and help is needed to ensure homes can be viewed ahead of bidding and that necessary adjustments are planned in good time before moving in. Councils are responsible for this, but as Mayor will work with disabled people’s groups to review all council processes and make clear standards at a London level.

Using planning and funding powers, I will make sure more fully wheelchair accessible homes, built to the highest standards, are secured by councils and in planning decisions by the Mayor. Currently, a very small percentage of planned homes are fully wheelchair accessible, and there is an acute shortage of council homes for disabled Londoners.

I will work with groups representing disabled tenants to ensure their rights, including to adapted homes when needed, are respected.

Employment for all 

Many of the most damaging changes being made to how disabled people are supported are being made by the Government at a national level. But we can help in London by building a better city where more people can participate without being confronted by artificial barriers. 

  • I will create more opportunities for disabled Londoners to enter work. To achieve this, I will fund and support improved (and flexible) training and career advice for these citizens
  • I will do more to ensure that apprenticeships, other initiatives for skills and employment (for people with qualifications and experience) are tailored to help disabled people achieve their potential and that the Access To Work scheme is promoted to employers. I will monitor schemes to make sure that more apprenticeships result in employment. 
  • I will include more policies aimed at improving access in the Good Work Standard for employers, and ensure all service providers working on behalf of the GLA demonstrate a track record of providing accessible and inclusive services and employing disabled people
  • I will take action to eliminate pay gaps for disabled Londoners in all GLA organisations. I will extend the monitoring and publication of these pay gaps to all organisations benefiting from GLA contracts.