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A review of government policy on independent living for disabled people was announced today by Baroness Royall, Gov...
A review of government policy on independent living for disabled people was announced today by Baroness Royall, Government whip and health spokesman.

Speaking during the second reading of the Disabled Persons (Independent Living) Bill in parliament, Baroness Royall said: 'Independent living is a reality for some disabled people in spite of the disabling barriers that still exist. However, in its fullest sense, independent living is still a dream for too many.

'The Government has made huge strides in enabling more disabled people to live autonomously, but there is a long way still to go before disabled people have the same choice, freedom, dignity and control over their lives as non-disabled people. That is why we have set up a review to make independent living a possibility for all disabled people.

'This cross-government review will identify the practical next steps we need to take and look for creative solutions to the many obstacles faced by disabled people.

'The review project will be led by a team in the Office for Disability Issues, with Jenny Morris as its executive director. It will be steered and shaped by an independent living expert panel, chaired by Dame Jane Campbell.'

The review will initially take 12 months and will:

* Bring together the views and experience of officials from central and local government, disabled people and organisations of disabled people

* Develop solutions in health, social care, transport, employment and housing

* Develop thinking on the relationship between independent living and individual budgets

* Make practical proposals for activity to support independent living.

The review will regularly report progress to the expert panel. Detailed proposals are expected to be published in Summer 2007.

For more information, visit the Office for Disability Issues website.

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