People with disabilities in the UK are finding it increasingly difficult to access effective measures to ensure personal mobility. The Disability Living Allowance welfare benefit that is to assist with the extra costs that goes with disability is to be replaced by the Personal Independence Payment. Disabled people will be assessed according to new criteria. The criterion for walking distance for eligibility for the mobility component is being reduced being able to walk 50 metres to being able to walk 20 metres. People with disabilities use this to access ‘Motability’ which helps them with getting adapted cars, wheelchairs and other mobility equipment.
Assistive technologies such as text to speech (text readers) devices and software are available, but mostly only if the person is using ‘Access to Work’ which is the scheme that provides technology and other assistance to disabled workers. It has drastically cut the range of products it will fund. Deaf people are also facing more restrictions in access to sign language interpreters.
While it is improving, there are still not enough changing and toileting facilities for people with severe impairments who need more space and hoisting (‘Changing Places Toilets’), so that they can go places with their personal care assistants’.