SHAC is committed to supporting those with disabilities so that they can be heard within the sector, and will continue working with members to drive a better understanding of the issues.
Our SHAC Disability Visibility Group arose from a discussion prompted by our article ‘Look Who’s Talking: Mental Health Disability and Housing Associations‘. The article led to a lively and well-attended meeting, with lots of ideas generated for a campaign.
Jacqueline Parkes facilitated the meeting, and you can see Jacqueline’s slide presentation (below) which framed the discussion. The slides are packed with useful information on the legal obligations of landlords, and key cases and findings from Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
To join the campaign group, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mental health and neurodiversity knowledge gap in the sector will take time to address, but we want to include residents and workers with lived experience of mental health or neurodiversity in the conversation. Proposals must be discussed and developed, but like racism, the culture of bullying and disability discrimination itself has to be tackled right now.
- Housing associations must be subject to an enforceable protocol to ensure that those with mental health disabilities or on the Autism spectrum are treated fairly and equally.
- Housing associations must be externally monitored on how well they adhere to their own policies on equality diversity and inclusion, and the Equality Act, which too many still consider optional.
- Measures should be introduced to implement the Care Quality Commission’s person-centred approach on mental health service provision, including through contracts with ‘community partners’.
We hope that all with an interest in mental health disabilities will get involved.
Resources and Useful Links
- Equalities and Human Rights Commision – Equalities Act 2010 – Public Functions Code of Practice
- Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC): Language Guide
- General Public Sector Equality Duty FAQs: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance-faq/general-duty-faqs-gb
- Government plans to bring in access improvement laws for tenants (22 March 2018): https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/eight-years-on-government-announces-plans-to-bring-in-access-laws-for-tenants/
- Southern Housing ordered to apologise following hate crime ordeal failings (09 July 2020): https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/housing-association-ordered-to-apologise-after-hate-crime-ordeal-failings/