An Intro to Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK is the leading charity of its kind in the UK. They are run by and for people with lived experience of disability or health conditions.

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Their key decisions are made through our members who elect the Board of Trustees: and by their Senior Management Team (SMT). They work with their members to influence national policy on independent living, benefits, education, employment, transport, human rights and other issues – shaping policy through direct experience and expertise.  They also work with our local individual and organisation members to empower and to influence local policy and services.

85% of their Trustees are disabled people; as are the majority of their staff. Their Articles of Association state that at least 75% of their Trustees will always be disabled people and their Trustees and staff between them have a wide range of personal experiences of disability including mental health issues, autistic spectrum,  learning difficulties, sensory impairments, long-term health conditions and mobility impairments.

They work hard to be inclusive and to understand and reflect the interests of everyone living with disability/health conditions.  Their staff and Trustees come from a range of communities and backgrounds, including different faiths and minority ethnic communities.

Goals for 2016-2019

These are the organisation’s goals for this four year period:

1. Independent living: getting a life – we will:

  • create research led by disabled people
  • enable thousands of individuals to share experiences backed by specialist information and advice
    showcase new independent living models, with other DPOs
  • run campaigns to reverse institutionalisation and coercion, to secure finance needed for independent living and to achieve improved accessibility.

2. Career opportunities – getting work, education and skills – we will:

  • enable thousands of people to share experiences backed by specialist information/advice
  • showcase approaches to youth employment, peer support for skills and career development, working with other DPOs and partners
  • run campaigns on youth employment, peer support for employment, and government enablers of education, skills and employment opportunities

3. Influencing public attitudes and behaviours: seeking a sea change in perceptions of disability and tackling hostility, bullying and hate crime – we will:

  • do research led by disabled people into what will influence attitudes and behaviours
  • develop a new narrative to replace ‘scrounger’ or ‘superhero’
  • show how cultures can be changed in education and workplaces
  • support a network of safe hate crime reporting centres