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Disability Action Alliance frequently asked questions

31 October 2012

In September the Government announced a new cross-sector disability action alliance.

Questions and answers 

1. Is the role of the alliance to advise government on policy?

No. The alliance aims to co-ordinate action, not policy - by working with local and national organisations on priority themes to bring greater connection. The themes will be agreed by alliance members. Top of our agenda is support for Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) locally and nationally to work with other organisations on priorities set by disabled people  

2. Is Disability Rights UK doing policy work for the government through the alliance?

No. Disability Rights UK campaigns for the rights of disabled people and informs over half a million disabled people a year on their rights. In our campaigning role we produce hard-hitting reports (eg see Holes in the Safety Net - on the disabled people set to lose from universal credit. We lobby in Parliament, for instance we campaigned successfully for a trial period for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) assessments so the mistakes of the Work Capability Assessment are not repeated; and we are campaigning for social care policy that supports genuine independent living. We are proud to be part of the Hardest Hit and other campaigning and influencing coalitions.

We are also in the alliance because we want disability equality to move up the agenda of a range of organisations and we believe that by working together, with DPOs locally and nationally, more progress will be made.

3. Is Disability Rights UK paid to convene the alliance?

No. We do it because we believe disabled people's voices should be at the heart of new developments - not the periphery.

4. Is Disability Rights UK a preferred supplier?

No. There is no contract and no payment.

5. Does the alliance replace engagement and co-production with disabled people's organisations on the government's strategy and policy?

No. The alliance does not replace other ways that government involves DPOs and disability organisations on policy. The alliance is about joining up across sectors to deliver actions that improve opportunities for disabled people - not about developing policy. The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) plans to work in co-production with disabled people’s organisations on the next stages of the Fulfilling Potential strategy including the outcomes and measures of progress. The alliance is separate. People who have been involved so far in the meetings on Fulfilling Potential will continue to be involved, whether or not they choose to join the alliance.  Everyone who has been involved in discussions on Fulfilling Potential is welcome to join the alliance.

6. Who is Disability Rights UK?

We are a pan-disability organisation led by disabled people. We resulted from a merger of Disability Alliance, National Centre for Independent Living and Radar and so far in 2012:

  • This year, over half a million people will use our website – where they find unrivalled information on rights, benefits and more. Over 46,000 people visited the website last month
  • We’ve involved over 5000 people in campaigns, including on press portrayal of disability, universal credit, and the future of social care
  • Our joint report on winners and losers from universal credit – Holes in the Safety Net – was used to put a challenging question to David Cameron in Prime Minister’s Question Time
  • We have over 300 organisational members and 500 individuals
  • In the last 3 months, we served 1915 people through our specialist member advice services (and it will be 7000 in the whole year)
  • In the last 3 months Disability Rights UK has been in the media over 60 times on issues including universal credit, ATOS assessments, Access to Work, transport inaccessibility and what it will take to have a paralympic legacy
  • Our funded projects are getting going, for instance we are working with local DPOs to support personal budgets; and good practice in hate crime reporting
  • Our work on careers and leadership led by and for disabled people  - including the Radiate network of disabled people in more senior roles – has been selected as a European example of good practice and will be included in a book and conference.

If you would like to join Disability Rights UK  - and be part of a movement, with member benefits like regular disability rights updates and publications, please go to our membership page.