A new national debate is needed to address the scale of social isolation and loneliness affecting growing numbers of disabled people and older people who risk being increasingly ‘locked out’ as modern Britain changes, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will say today.
In a landmark speech to mark the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities and 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), EHRC Commissioner and nine-time Paralympic gold medallist Lord Holmes is to call for national summits in England, Wales and Scotland with politicians, service providers, leaders in civic society and captains of industry.
He will say more must be done to stop Britain’s growing number of disabled and older people being left behind and unable to participate in society and the economy, as technology and other societal trends transform Britain. And he will draw attention to how social exclusion and loneliness can be as damaging to health as smoking, excess alcohol consumption and obesity.
Underpinned by the largest ever review of equality and human rights in Britain (Is Britain Fairer?), he will highlight trends in 10 areas as ‘roadblocks to opportunity’ – including the digital economy, transport infrastructure, public participation, employment and enjoyment of cultural activities.