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DPAC North East Manifesto

There are 14 million Disabled people in the UK, and we make up over a fifth of the population. We are not a homogenous group: we have different impairments, are different genders, sexual orientations, come from different backgrounds, and live different lives. Some of us experience greater injustice, but we have many things in common. We all want to live in an inclusive society where everyone has a fulfilling life and feels connected and valued.


Disabled People demand, Rights not Charity and we reject all cuts to our services and benefits. All rights enshrined in the UNCRPD which has been ratified by the UK Government should become a reality for disabled people within the foreseeable future and by the very latest by 2025.

We know our lives are not valued equally to others. We experience discrimination and oppression in our daily lives and disabling societal barriers to our inclusion and full participation. Disabled people have been the hardest hit by austerity, the COVID pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis. Evidence shows that we are disproportionately living in poverty, achieving poorer outcomes in education and far more likely to be unemployed or earn less. Many of us are forced to live away from society, our communities and families in order to get support or education. Societal infrastructure, such as housing, transport and street environment, consistently fail to meet our needs.


We need a long-term Disability Strategy, co-produced with Disabled people and our organisations, that tackles the root causes of our oppression and delivers fundamental reform and investment to enable Disabled people of all ages, genders and backgrounds to thrive.


Representation and Voice

We want Disabled people to participate across all political and public roles, with the required adjustments put in place, so we can achieve real justice and equality. Disabled people’s led organisations (“Disabled People’s Organisations”) are accountable to our community and must be viewed as primary advocates for us and be funded accordingly. Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) must have a seat at national and local decision-making tables and all Disabled people to fully participate in democratic processes.


Local Action:

  • Demanding prospective candidates for Parliament and Mayoral positions work with local disabled people to co-produce policies that will lead to our independence.

  • Holding local politicians to account over promises made at elections

Supporting National DPAC

  • Working with local and national Political Parties to establish an election fund within their organisations to support reasonable adjustments for Disabled candidates at local and national elections.

  • Demanding the setting up of strategic funding to support the network of DPOs across England to advocate for the rights of Disabled People.

  • Demanding accessibility standards for elections including removal of voter ID.

  • Demanding accessibility standards for all public consultations


We want to fully enjoy all rights guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Discrimination we face in all areas of life must stop. We want financial and legal support to enforce our rights and all public bodies to have a duty to advance and enforce our rights actively. We want greater accountability for when our rights have been breached.

Supporting National DPAC

  • Demanding legislation to fully incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into UK law. Bring into force all provisions of the Equality Act, including socio-economic duty.

  • Demanding communication access to include languages and disability access.

  • Demanding the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Socio-Economic duties are fully embedded in all public bodies’ decision-making processes.

  • Ensuring parity in law for victims of Disability Hate Crime.

  • Prompting legislation to ensure Disabled people who are abused by workers and professionals have the same protection and support as victims of domestic abuse, and that workers have proper pay and conditions to promote respectful relationships.

  • Demand the Introduction of non-means tested legal aid for all discrimination cases.

  • End discrimination against Disabled parents, primarily mothers, including by providing social care, financial and other support to parents, making family court proceedings open to the public and fully accessible and ensuring Disabled parents have adequate income.

  • Demanding the establishment of an inquiry into benefits-related deaths.

  • Support legislation to abolish forced detention and treatment of people on mental health grounds.


We want the right to live independently with choice and control over the support we get. We want the right to live in our own fully accessible homes connected to our family, friends and community. We want major reform and investment across social security, social care, education, housing and employment, to provide Disabled people of all ages, genders, backgrounds or immigration status with a decent level of income and free at the point of use additional support that we need to fully enjoy our rights and to lead full and connected lives. We should not be forced to live in institutions or accept medical treatment we don’t want.

Local Action

  • Support the demands for accessible local transport.

  • Continue to work with Durham Miners Gala Committee to make it accessible.

  • Continue to support the modified kissing gates as a good practice standard on pathways

  • Continue to campaign against Rail Ticket Office closures

  • Campaign against any changes to benefits in general and those available to disabled people

Supporting National DPAC Finances

  • Increase disability benefits to meet true extra costs.

  • Increase means tested benefits to adequately reflect the cost of living and extra disability related costs.

  • Stop sanctioning Disabled people.

  • Stop cutting off Disabled people’s benefits for failure to attend assessments.

  • Co-produce the benefits system that recognises everyone’s right to an adequate standard of living.

  • Abolish No Recourse to Public Funds – benefit and healthcare rights for all.

Independent Living

  • Legislate for the right to independent living and a taskforce to develop independent living we can all be proud of.

  • Commit extra 8 billion funding for social care and ensure funding is prioritised for community-based support.

  • Stop social care charging.


  • Independent living Housing Introduce a national requirement for all new build homes to be accessible and 10% to be wheelchair accessible.

  •  Increase funding for Disabled Facilities Grant, remove the means-test and increase the grant amount.

  • Implement all recommendations of the Grenfell inquiry, ensuring all Disabled people can evacuate safely.

  • Introduce enforceable standards to ensure good quality, well insulated housing in private and social rented sectors.

  • Include adaptability requirements into Decent Homes Standard.

  • Introduce rent caps so that no one pays more than one third of their income on rent.

  • Invest in building accessible social housing.



We want plans for every aspect of life including energy policy, climate change, digital and technological development, health, housing, transport, street environment and emergency planning, to address specific needs of Disabled people from the outset. We want all resources going to segregated settings and programmes diverted to inclusive programmes and support.


Supporting National DPAC Education

  • Develop plans with DPOs to move Disabled children and adults out of all institutional provisions.

  • A right for every Disabled learner to get appropriate support in a mainstream education setting.

  • Commit 3 billion extra per year for education support.


  • Full implementation of the BSL Act.

  • New accessibility standards which meet the needs of people with different impairments for transport, built environment, and public realm.

  • Infrastructure investment plans and regulatory measures to ensure Disabled people’s access to the environment, transport, information and communication.


  • Introduce mandatory workforce monitoring including pay gap and progression, including monitoring pay gap and progression for Disabled women/people of colour.

  • Introduce mandatory two-week timeframe for reasonable adjustments and an enforcement framework which does not fully depend on an individual.

  • Commit to closing the disability employment gap.

  • A right to disability responsive employment support which helps people get good jobs.

  •  Ensure quick and adequate support from Access to Work.

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