Technology is shifting the disability landscape. To live with a disability – or having a family member who lives with a disability – does not imply that you cannot live a 'normal' life: have an education, a job, and more broadly, being an active member of society. Certainly, such aspects of daily life might become customised according to each person’s need; still, they should be a legal right for those living with disability. What’s certain is, that those with disability should and need to have a tight system of care that surrounds them. From the everyday affective care of family and friends, to state support, every society should aim to develop both a cultural and a legal network able to support those living with disability and their families, while funding tech projects working to develop the realm of prosthetics, wheelchairs, wearable tech and bionics that are changing the lives of disabled people.
The British government is failing to do so. In April this year, disabled people who are legible for the Work Related Activity Group will now receive £29.05 less to their £103 weekly claimants. Now receiving the same rate that those under the Job Seekers Allowance, British disabled citizens have to face an even bigger struggle to live that 'normal' life to which they are entitled. According to The Department for Work and Pensions, with a lower amount of governmental income, disabled people will feel more incentive to look for a job. Such assumptions are not only alienating, they are also wholly untrue.
When asked about the cuts that have been made to disability benefits, Theresa May – clearly in difficulty to address this hot-potato topic in front of the press – acknowledged the existence of “some issues that people continue to raise about assessments that are made on those payments.” Yet, she did not mention any possible solutions for these “issues” in case she will be elected. The explicitness through which the government is disenfranchising the lives of those in need of extra care is disquieting, and is leaving disabled people and their families completely alone when it comes to sustaining the network of care that is necessary for the functioning of their lives, and everyones' society.