Response to the Down Syndrome Bill
The Down Syndrome Bill recently received its second reading in the House of Commons. This is a Private Members’ Bill introduced by Conservative MP Dr Liam Fox which aims to ensure that certain health, education, and local authorities take account of the specific needs of people with Down’s syndrome when exercising their relevant functions.
In some ways this could be seen as a good thing, and the accounts of poor provision and inadequate EHCPs are very familiar to us all, but we believe that ensuring provision by diagnosis rather than by needs can be divisive and is potentially discriminatory, as it could see people with very similar needs treated different simply because of the name of their condition.
Many of the needs of those with Angelman Syndrome overlap with the needs of those with Down’s syndrome, so Angelman UK has joined with a number of other charities and written to Liam Fox. We are asking him to meet with us to discuss broadening the scope of the Bill to include ALL that face the same challenges as those living with Down’s syndrome.
Our letter to Liam Fox can be read here and we will keep you all updated on his response.