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Disabled people ‘treated as afterthought throughout pandemic’, says academic
Disabled people have often been treated as “an afterthought” throughout the coronavirus pandemic, according to a leading disabled academic.
Professor Tom Shakespeare told a webinar on Tuesday that disabled people had been disproportionately affected in multiple ways, including the disruption to day-to-day NHS services, the impact of lockdown measures, and the isolation and anxiety that lockdown has caused.
Shakespeare (pictured) told the webinar that many routine NHS appointments, for example for speech and language therapy or for assistive technology, such as repairs to wheelchairs or prosthetics, had been cancelled or postponed during the pandemic.
He said: “That’s been difficult for many, many disabled people who rely on these sorts of helps, particularly young disabled people.
“Lots of check-ups missed, lots of preventable medical problems missed for everybody, but particularly for people with disabilities.”
Shakespeare, a director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has been working with other academics on a study examining the impact of the pandemic on disabled [...]