Lord Blunkett has joined as a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology after attending the launch event in Speaker’s House early last month. Of joining the group, Lord Blunkett said:
“I am very pleased to be able to support the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology. It is vital that the different arms of the assistive technology sector come together to share expertise and experiences in the pursuit of their common goal.”
Being blind since birth, Lord Blunkett has a keen interest in AT. Naturally aware of many of the issues facing the sector, Lord Blunkett commented that the APPGAT
“will be a great mechanism for bringing together many siloed conversations and for encouraging positive change that will affect people of all ages and various challenges or disabilities. As the APPGAT embarks on a series of important events and inquiries, I am confident that my parliamentary colleagues and I can help to raise awareness of the power of AT in helping individuals gain independence and confidence.”
David Blunkett was awarded a peerage in the dissolution Honours List in 2015, taking the title of Lord Blunkett of Brightside and Hillsborough in the City of Sheffield. He also in that year took up a post as Professor of Politics in Practice at the University of Sheffield Department of Politics, and became Chair of the board of the University of Law (formerly the College of Law) based in London. David was Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough 1987-2015, and a member of Tony Blair’s Cabinet for eight years from 1997. His responsibilities as Secretary of State covered the Home Office (including counter-terrorism, immigration and justice), Education and Employment (covering education and skills from early years, schooling, post sixteen skills and apprenticeships, higher education and equal opportunities) and Work and Pensions (including retirement income, welfare benefits and Job Centre Plus and work programmes).
Formerly Leader of the City Council for England’s fourth largest city (Sheffield), David has had a wide range of experiences over 43 years in public life as well as in the private sector. As a board member of the National Citizens Service Trust, he has had a long-standing interest in citizenship education and the wellbeing of young people. As well as supporting a wide range of charitable endeavours (as trustee, vice president and patron) he is also a familiar speaker, author and media contributor (including appearances on both radio and television). The APPGAT hopes to work with Lord Blunkett across a variety of events and campaigns regarding assistive technology over the coming months.
All of the APPGAT’s parliamentary members are very much looking forward to seeing the work of the group progress. Lord Blunkett echoed this sentiment by deeming the launch of the group
“a tremendous development” and stating “I look forward to the important work that the group will be driving forward.”