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Creating a Powerful Voice for People with Lived Experience of Disability and Health Conditions

Author: National Center for Independent Living

Published: 2010-09-23

Synopsis and Key Points:

Unified organization to be known provisionally as the Disability Rights Partnership.

Main Digest

Unified organization to be known provisionally as the Disability Rights Partnership.

Disability Alliance (DA), the National Center for Independent Living (NCIL) and the Royal Association for Disability Rights (Radar) have announced that they will consult with their respective members on a proposal to create one, unified organization to be known provisionally as the Disability Rights Partnership.

CEOs at all three organizations agree:

"Our vision is for a society in which disability rights are made real - where everyone with lived experience of disability and health conditions live equally, as full citizens. We believe that society will only change when disability is at the heart of public policy, benefiting everyone.

We also believe that this will only happen when disabled people speak for themselves and determine their own future. Our aim is to establish an integrated service for disabled people, provided by one, unified, organization led by disabled people, by mid 2011. The Disability Rights Partnership wants to work with everyone who could be considered 'disabled people' however they view themselves."

The three organizations have been exploring the potential for closer collaboration for the past 18 months. The announcement this week that Disability Alliance's CEO is due to depart at the end of September, offered an opportunity to inject new energy into the discussions about the potential for a unified organization and accelerated the process of consultation with members of all three organizations.

Members of the three organizations are being asked to give their views about the proposed unification by the end of September. Debates will take place at the AGMs of the three organizations to be held during the autumn. The final decision will be taken at general meetings provisionally planned for the spring of 2011.

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