The Government has downgraded the voice of disabled people within Whitehall departments by abolishing the post of Minister for Disabled People. We can circumvent this undermining of our representation. When I met the former Minister Tom Pursglove MP I asked for minutes of his meetings with other departments at ministerial level. None were offered to me. In correspondence with the Prime Minister he stated that the then Minister had the authority to respond to me on the PMs behalf. Now a situation of no minutes has been compounded by having no minister either. I have thus began seeking meetings with departmental ministers from the Prime Minister and Chancellor downwards. They may not see any value in disabled people's lives but the Disability Resilience Network (DRN) does. Close to one in four adults has a self declared disability. One in three of us work. One in five of us volunteer. More than one in ten of us have started or run businesses. This creativity has aroused the interest of academia. The DRN has worked with the Centre of Inclusive Entrepreneurship based at Birkbeck College and now Ingenuity based at Nottingham University to investigate disability entrepreneurship. We urge readers with insights and experiences to attend or join the latters seminar from 6 to 8 pm on Tuesday January 23rd 2024. There ought to be no further cuts in welfare provision until there are identified, supported and successful routes into a fully inclusive economy. These routes must include a disability entrepreneurship strategy, adoption of the disability charter and a new and dedicated minister preferably one that sits in the treasury. We have the resilience and innovation that our country needs and as we face the election we have the power too. There is much discussion of the post pandemic great reset (replacing the dollar as the unit of international currency for instance) in the world economy but resetting disabled people's relationship with the world would be simpler and more equitable. It will be as significant to the 21st century as was ending slavery in the 19th century or delivering on women's suffrage in the 20th century. Lets start with the opportunity for real and actual change that the election offers. We have the W.I.T. Support Operation Purple Vote. W=Whatever I=It T=Takes. 2024 is our year. Fill in our free membership form at www.disabilityresiliencenetwork.com and join our community.
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