A new scheme has been set up to enable people with disabilities to advise the government on inclusive policy development.
Learning disabilities charity is celebrating after three people it supports were accepted onto the scheme ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.
Henry, Becky and John will sit on regional stakeholder networks run by the Disability Unit – formerly the Office for Disability Issues – which provides a platform for people with disabilities to share their views and experiences in order inform the development of policies and services affecting them.
As well as influencing government, members of the network will be working closely with other local people with disabilities and disability organisations and reporting back on the issues facing them.
This isn’t the first time the trio have played a key role in effecting change for people with learning disabilities. In 2017, Henry and Becky travelled to Geneva with Hft to share their experiences of the effects of austerity at a United Nations hearing about how UK policy has impacted on people with disabilities.
One year later, they joined the charity in presenting a pair of shoes to former Prime Minister Theresa May as part of Hft’s Walk in our Shoes campaign, which encourages MPs to spend time listening to the concerns of people with learning disabilities.
Meanwhile, John, who is passionate about transport, visited the Office of Rail and Road to share his views on accessible transport in 2018.
Henry said: “I feel really excited because it’s an opportunity to learn new things. I’ve done advocacy work in the past for Hft and for Devon People First and I worked as a disability officer at college.”
Amy Gordon, involvement coordinator at Hft, said: “This International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we’re proud to be celebrating the actions of people like Henry, Becky and John, who are passionate about bringing about positive policy change and creating a more accessible future. This is a great opportunity to connect work already done at Hft to the Disability Unit, so that the people we support can have their say on the services and policies that affect them.”
Caption: Henry, Becky and John with Amy Gordon, Hft’s involvement coordinator.