One of my roles in Parliament is acting as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Learning Disability. In this role, I work closely with Mencap, the leading voice on learning disability, to support people with a learning disability, their families and their carers.
To that end, last month I chaired a joint meeting between six APPGs on different disabilities, including autism, eye health & visual impairment, mental health and multiple sclerosis. This joint meeting was an opportunity for MPs, Peers and disabled people to comment on a Government consultation on proposals to improve employment support and the benefit system. We were joined by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Damian Green MP, alongside speakers who had first-hand experience of a learning disability, mental health issues and the benefit system.
The meeting was a success, and it was good to see so many disabled people provide their views about the best way the Government can provide support. It was good to hear that the Government is committed to ensuring that all disabled people have the opportunities and support they need to get on in life.
As well as chairing the APPG on Learning Disability, I was pleased to be able to attend the Westminster launch of a new campaign by Action on Hearing Loss, aiming to break down the barriers that people with a hearing loss face when trying to find employment.
Action on Hearing Loss recently launched a myth-busting report into improving attitudes towards hearing loss in the workplace. This report will really assist in guiding and sign-posting local businesses to the support that is available to help them, and can be found at www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk.
By working with and listening to groups such as Mencap and Action on Hearing Loss, the Government can continue to improve on the support we offer disabled people, including helping as many disabled people who are able to work find a job. I look forward to continuing to Chair the APPG on Learning Disability, and will post regular updates on my work on supporting disabled people on my website.