I was today announced as the National Lead for the Strengthening Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations (DPULOs) programme. The full press release is available here.
Below is a copy of the brief speech I gave at the launch event, which was held at the excellent Vassall Centre Trust in Bristol.
It is a privilege to take up this role as the National Lead for the Strengthening DPULOs programme.
I’d like to thank the Minister for recognising and valuing the contribution DPULOs make to their local communities and for establishing this innovative programme.
This is a crucial time for disabled people and their organisations. This is both in their role as a representative voice of disabled people at a grass roots level and in delivering services to enable disabled people to have more choice and control over their lives. It’s also in their role of raising expectations and changing attitudes when it comes to disability equality more broadly.
This programme provides an opportunity for DPULOs to address the challenges they face and to sustain and share the successes they achieve. This will be done by working with each other and with the public bodies whose work they add value to.
Importantly, DPULOs don’t just make a difference in one policy area. The work they do can and does enable disabled people across all impairment groups to live independently in many facets of life, from employment and transport to social justice, in health and in social care.
I am looking forward to working with the Minister and a wide range of colleagues from across all sectors and all policy areas to make this programme a success. I am particularly looking forward to learning from and sharing the experience and expertise of Ambassadors across all parts of England.
Together, we will create a space in which DPULOs can flourish and empower disabled people to have more choice and control.
Please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know more about the programme.