This article was published on January 31, 2012 and information contained within may now be out of date.
Local charity Linkage Community Trust is encouraging disabled people and their families to have their say in shaping a new Government disability strategy.
The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a consultation exercise, called Fulfilling Potential, as the first step in developing the strategy which is aimed at helping disabled people achieve their aspirations and play a full role in their communities. To this end, Linkage Community Trust is organising a special open event in March to canvass views.
Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People, said: “Some of the barriers in society which stop disabled people making progress have been removed over the past 40 years but there is far more to do, even at a time when the country’s finances are under great pressure.
“Working with disabled people, I now want to ensure that there is a clear focus in place across Government so that the money that is available takes full account of their needs.”
Linkage, which has been supporting people with learning difficulties and disabilities since its creation in 1976 with education and residential services in the Spilsby area, says the consultation presents a real opportunity for its service users and families, as well as the wider disabled community, to make their voices heard. Linkage’s main consultation event, called “Include Us In”, is being held on Friday 2nd March, from 10.30am at The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln, and aims to attract a wide audience of disabled people, parents & carers and disability organisations from across the county and beyond.
The event will adopt a discussion format around three themes: realising aspirations, increasing individual control, and changing attitudes and behaviours. The views of all the participants will be recorded and submitted to the Office for Disability Issues by 9th March. Following the current consultation period, the Government will produce its strategy in the Spring.
Policy and Campaigns Officer Linda Alexander says: “Linkage is keen to encourage disabled people, their families and disability organisations to speak up about the issues that matter to them and to shape the changes ahead. We are holding a number of events with our service users and learners to ensure that their voices are heard during this consultation exercise, but we wanted to stage a central meeting where the wider disabled community, their supporters and families can join us.”
If you or your organisation would like to attend, please contact Linkage via email email@example.com, send a message via @linkagect on Twitter or call 01522 507214 before 17th February.