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  • Writer's pictureDisability Assist

Why Your Voice Matters

Updated: Nov 2, 2022

Disability Assist has been a disabled persons user-led organisation since its inception as Centre for Independent Living Kent in 2002. What does that mean? Disabled people’s user led organisations (DPULOs) are run by and for disabled people and have an important role to play in enabling disabled people to have a stronger voice, as well as providing advice and support on a wide range of issues.

We have always been led and guided by what our users need and work hard to ensure the needs and views of disabled people across Kent are listened to. Your views are integral to everything we do. We previously invited you to have your say on important issues at a range of upcoming events and you can keep up with what’s happening next through our newsletter and social media channels. We particularly encourage this now as it is more important than ever that disabled people are not left out of the conversation. But in order to best represent people with long-term health conditions in the county, we need to hear from you.

We frequently post on our social media channels to ask for your views and experiences on a number of topics as well as feeding back to other organisations, such as the recent survey on Changing Places toilets. The reason we do this is because it helps to give weight to our recommendations and strengthen our argument in terms of what we tell decision-making authorities needs to happen. There are other organisations like ours out there who are also trying to make positive change, but to make sure those changes are right and work in the best way, we need to hear directly from people. Sadly, unless we

hear your stories and collect the evidence in terms of your input to enable us to take it further, we find that the authorities often don’t understand the extent of the difficulties that we know disabled people face.

Replying to our posts on social media is often the quickest and easiest method of bringing things to our attention. However, if you would prefer not to post publicly, we encourage you to get in touch with us directly via phone, email or our website to give us your feedback. Our CEO, Sophie, says,

"We are currently in the process of exploring options of how we can improve the Kent Physical Disability Forum and make it more impactful so that it better reflects your needs. I am able to bring your issues to the attention of decision-makers through my role as part of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability. Also, If you are in receipt of direct payments and have any issues, there is also the Direct Payment User Group which I chair."

Whatever issue you are experiencing, we can make sure it is put in front of the right people. With the country experiencing increasingly tough times, it is more important than ever to make sure your voice is heard so please get in touch with us.

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