THE Greens launched their disability manifesto yesterday outlining policies that demand empowerment for deaf and disabled people.
The party’s co-leader Jonathan Bartley and the Green’s first parliamentary deaf-blind candidate Ben Fletcher announced plans for a new community-led care and support service that would work alongside the NHS, councils and the government.
The plans were drawn up in response to the Tories’ brutal cuts to welfare benefits and social care.
Mr Fletcher, who was born profoundly deaf and partially sighted will stand as the Green candidate for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields.
He said: “There are over 11 million disabled people in Britain. That’s one in six.
“Yet many of us are still prevented from participating fully in education, in employment and in politics because of inflexible, outdated attitudes, needless barriers and a lack of understanding about what disabled people can really achieve if they receive the support they need.”
Campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts co-founder Linda Burnip told the Star that she welcomed the Greens putting forward a disabled candidate in the election.
However she was also critical of their pledge to offer community-led care run by volunteers, describing the scheme as “frankly terrifying.”
“Disabled people want rights and do not wish to depend on well-meaning volunteers to provide their independence,” she said.
The Green Party is also campaigning for full recognition of British Sign Language as an official language of Britain.
Fourteen per cent of the party’s candidates in this election describe themselves as having a disability.