Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
Can you provide details regarding the percentage of disabled DWP employees involved in the PIP process - specifically Assessors and Decision-Makers, please.
I realise that the assessment interview process is put out to tender and provided by such organisations as Capita and Atos.
Given the size and structure of these organisations, they too will keep diversity and inclusion statistics, so I imagine this information won't be too hard to come by.
I'm making this request as - in many other walks of life - it is vital that service-users, claimants and so on, see themselves reflected and represented in those who are seen to be passing judgement on them.
Despite there being an assumed black-and-white, unbiased scoring system for benefits such as PIP, it's clear that it is still – despite, I am sure the DWP's best efforts to be balanced – an increasingly skewed process, which many times seems to defy all logic and reason. Decisions repeatedly appear arbitrary, so I am curious as to which confounding variables may be at play here.
In the same way that women and BAME voters want to see more women and BAME decision-makers in government, adults with disabilities need to see themselves reflected in key decision-makers that disproportionately affect those living in or close to poverty.
There's a direct correlation between having experienced something oneself, and having a far greater understanding of that circumstance. Currently 20% of our population is disabled; less than 1% of our MPs are.
It's no surprise then that from a user perspective, that disability rights seem to have travelled back to the 1980s.
I look forward to discovering the diversity data as requested.
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