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Challenges faced by those with disabilities on Lords agenda

17 May 2024

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On Thursday 16 May, members of the House of Lords debated the challenges faced by people with disabilities including access to benefits, work, education, housing and healthcare.


Baroness Hughes of Stretford (Labour), put forward the debate.

This was a general debate. During debates, members put their experience to good use to discuss current issues and draw the government's attention to concerns.      

Members speaking

Contributing members included:

Opening the debate, Baroness Hughes of Stretford said:

'Across a wide range of socioeconomic variables, the outcomes for disabled people are consistently poorer. They are much less likely to be in employment, and those with severe learning difficulties, autism or mental illness have the lowest employment rates.'

Baroness Grey-Thompson said:

'The Paralympics in 2012 were great, but the people who tell me that they changed the world are non-disabled people. We are portrayed as Paralympians or as benefit scroungers, with a healthy dose of inspiration porn thrown in. The reality is that the least privileged disabled people are mostly invisible in society. Representation in the media is far from equal.'

Viscount Younger of Leckie (Conservative), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, responded on behalf of the government:

'Over the last 25 years, this country has made important progress in tackling the barriers, through the work of campaigners and across different Governments, from the Disability Discrimination Act 1995…to the Equality Act 2010 and, more recently, the British Sign Language Act and Down Syndrome Act.'

Catch up

Watch and read the debate

Watch on Parliament TV or read the Lords Hansard transcript.

Explore background information

Find out more about the issues the debate covers in the House of Lords Library briefing.

Learn more about how the House of Lords checks and challenges government.

Image: Roger Harris / House of Lords

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