Reported by Third Force News – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media. 

Covid-19 has supercharged inequalities for disabled people, a new report has claimed.

Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) says the pandemic has brought existing to the forefront, and has called for disabled people’s involvement, rights and support to be supercharged in response.

Supercharged: A Human Catastrophe. Inequalities, Participation and Human Rights before, during and beyond Covid-19 shares extensive findings and recommendations from GDA’s engagement with thousands of disabled people across Glasgow, throughout lockdown, and before.

Between March and July, GDA made and received over 8,500 telephone calls, communicated with more than 5,000 disabled people, and held 218 online discussion sessions.

This engagement has shown that the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown have worsened inequalities faced by disabled people, and created new ones. Disabled people spoke out about falling through gaps in emergency food provision, having crucial healthcare cancelled, mental health supports withdrawn and social care cut indefinitely, leaving some GDA members with no support to wash, use the toilet, eat or take medications, at a time when they needed it most.


Disabled people also reported a rise in harassment and hate crime in public spaces, and say fundamental rights to life were threatened by rationing of Covid treatment and inappropriate Do Not Resuscitate notices.

GDA’s report details how funding from Scottish Government, Big Lottery and Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, via Impact Funding enabled the organisation to adapt its core services and rapidly develop new ones to meet ongoing and emerging needs during the crisis: delivering emergency food and essentials to 1,251 individuals, welfare rights support to 137, wellbeing support to 357 individuals, and digital equipment, coaching and online learning to 593 disabled people (March-July).

GDA estimate that its engagement prevented up to 5,000 disabled people from falling through gaps, as 80% of those spoken to were not aware of any support they could access in their local area. One member explained: “Disabled people are being excluded so much in our communities. Nothing is accessible to me, except GDA!”

Tressa Burke, chief executive of Glasgow Disability Alliance, said: “Over 20 years, GDA has built a disabled-people led community of interest: an infrastructure that connects over 5,000 disabled people across Glasgow. We were able to quickly mobilise our involvement model, so our response was shaped by our members – disabled people, who know where the gaps are.


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