Thursday, September 16News For London

National Theatre celebrates Disabled Access Day after Ministers confirm cuts to disability benefits

The National Theatre has taken part in Disabled Access Day, a nationwide event that encourages disabled people to visit somewhere they have ever been before. This is the second year for the National Theatre.

Cuts to funding for ‘aids and appliances’ for the disabled has been branded an attach on dignity. Photo by
Cuts to funding for ‘aids and appliances’ for the disabled has been branded an attach on dignity. Photo by

The National Theatre said of its commitment; “it is designed to make the very best theatre and share it with as many people as possible.”

Disabled Access Day, originally celebrated on 27 January but pushed forward this year to 12 March following feedback that January is too cold, came about after Paul Ralph, a powerchair user and Euan’s Guide supporter went to ‘try it out day’ at his local bus company.

Paul explained that before this initiative he had not used the bus network in his hometown, as he was unsure how the ramp operated.

A number of fellow institutions have joined the day, including the Imperial War Museums, Barclays Bank, Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow Airport and the Barbican Centre.

Government cuts confirmed

Disabled Access Day comes about after the confirmation that disability benefits will be cut, thus saving nearly 1bn a year as according to a report issued by the Guardian.

Entitlements could be cut by up to £150 a week for more than half a million people suffering from a disabling condition. Announced the week before the budget, there has been harsh backlash with shadow disabilities minister, Debbie Abrahams branding it “an attack on dignity.”

Liz Sayce, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, told the Guardian: “This change is another unwelcome blow to disabled people’s independence, and will impact on people’s ability to work, enjoy family life and take part in the communities they live in.”

The cuts will commence early January 2017.