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Rethinking disability in Cornwall

One in five residents in Cornwall identify as disabled.

We understand that disabled people face barriers

  • at work
  • in daily life
  • and in accessing public services

We’re using the Social Model of Disability (SMD) to help us.

The model was created by disabled people. It tells us that people are disabled not by their impairment or difference, but by social barriers. Barriers can be physical, but public attitudes and assumptions about disability are just as important

We want to remove those barriers.

It won’t be easy. And it won’t happen overnight.

Through our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, we’re investigating how disabled people are affected in our communities such as

  • health inequality
  • hate crime
  • and employment prospects

We are responding with practical action to address these issues so that no-one is left behind.

You can view our full strategy and commitments here:

We’re also committed to improving our culture in Cornwall Council by embedding the SMD in our workforce.

Our Employee Disability forum is providing a programme of activity on the model. The aim is to help inform the Council’s ongoing work to improve the inclusion of disabled people. Projects so far have involved;

  • Presenting to leadership and wider services on SMD and building a wider network which are confident with the model.
  • Collaborating with our Human Resources team to Improve our policies and practises for disabled employees.
  • Working with departments in our workplace to improve the user experience of our software and where we work.

Our forums meet with council directors, which has led to real changes which affect employees and our communities. As a result, we continue to develop our policies and practices, with lived experience in mind. 

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