Stand at the traffic lights on a major street in any city. Now, when the green man invites you, try to cross the road. Unless you have the acceleration of an Olympic sprinter, the chances are that the beeps will stop, the green man will flash and cars will rev impatiently before you’ve reached the sanctuary of the other side. Especially if you have a disability, are pushing a buggy or laden with shopping. Or are old. The Department of Health says the average walking speed demanded by pedestrian crossings is 1.2 metres a second, while the average speed of the older pedestrian is just 0.7 to 0.9 metres per second.
Care minister Norman Lamb (see above photo) on Friday unveiled a green paper of proposals to give people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health conditions more rights around the care they receive.
No voice unheard, no right ignored is a consultation to gain the views of disabled people, their families, those working in the sector and other interested parties on the proposals. It opens on 6 March, and closes in 12 weeks’ time, on 29 May. Here are six things you need to know about the proposals.