Sumary of For people with learning disabilities, ‘freedom day’ was nothing of the kind | Saba Salman:
- “Freedom day” was a fallacy for people with learning disabilities and their families.
- While much of England eagerly anticipated Monday’s lifting of restrictions, there was little advance thought as to how learning disabled people, like my sister Raana, would return to “normal life”.
- New research shows that learning disabled people are eight times more likely to die from Covid and five times more at risk of hospitalisation.
- The study, by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Oxford University and Public Health England, is the latest proof – if it were needed – that Covid heaps disadvantage on to those already marginalised.
- The risk is even greater for learning disabled people from black, ethnic and minority backgrounds.
- Even before Covid, the health inequalities facing this part of our population – 1.5 million people in the UK – were clear.
- Poorer healthcare means people with learning disabilities die more than 20 years earlier than everyone else.
- The fact that people like Raana were off the national “freedom day” radar is further proof that the government treats disabled people as expendable.