-A A +A
Select color visibility that suits you Basic theme Dark theme Darker theme Text only

AGM January 2015

27 January 2015

Disability Rights UK 3rd Annual General Meeting: 26 January 2015 -1pm – 4pm at Resource for London

Andy Rickell, Asif Hussain, Liz Sayce and Jane Young

The AGM

Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK Liz Sayce then outlined the past year and what we can expect in the coming year.

Following members concerns, expressed at the last AGM DR UK as concentrated on the following:

DR UK has also been very active and has had some key successes in its work over the past year.

Looking forward to the next year we intend to continue to campaign:

Over the next year we will also:

  • engage with our members more through online forums, webinars and social media.

  • produce high quality independent information.

  • seek better job opportunities for young disabled people.

  • help disabled people to become more active via accessible facilities and personal budgets.

  • seek to increase our unrestricted income via sales of the Disability Rights Handbook and our new Taking Charge Guide as well as our ever expanding training services.

Election of trustees

Election of trustees

Following the agreement to a change to our Articles of Association and approval of our Accounts, members voted to elect six new trustees. Before the vote Phil Friend formally stood down as Chair of Disability Rights UK. He is to be replaced by Asif Hussain.

The following trustees were elected:

  1. Ian Loynes
  2. Martin Stevens
  3. Steve Paget MBE
  4. Martin Smith
  5. Rob Trent
  6. Daniel Holt

Biographies of new trustees will appear on the website shortly.

Debate

Following the meeting we held an interesting debate on the subject of “The Employment Support we have a Right to Expect.”

The panel members for this debate were Liz Sayce, Jane Young and Andy Rickell.

Jane talked about the disconnect between benefits and into work support. Article 27 gives disabled people the right to work but Governments see welfare to work policies as punitive. Little is said of the demand side of the right to work, such as the creation of employment opportunities, proper job matching, opportunities for supported employment, work trials and peer support. a possible solution might be to move into employment support away from the DWP to BIS

Andy highlighted the importance of DPULOs in providing employment support. He emphasised the need for DPULOs to convince the DWP that their initiatives can make a difference.

In return the DWP should be willing to provide a choice of advisers to meet the differing needs of disabled people and to reflect the full range of circumstances - getting work, keeping work and career advancement. Independent advice is also crucial in this respect. Disabled people should also be drafted in to act as advisers Central to this support should be personal budgets - the default option. delivery of support needs to be multi-model - face to face, apps, phone, skype etc.

He envisaged support as akin to an "Amazon system" where everything is publicly available, there is a single advice gateway and a single route to funding. When considering those who come off employment he cautioned again placements with large enterprises. 90% of people tend to move from unemployment into small local enterprises and from there able to progress. This may not be so easy in large enterprises. Andy also highlighted the opportunities for European funding through ESIF.

Liz highlighted the failures of the existing schemes and support whilst advocating:

  • better promotion of Access to Work
  • more accessible transport
  • better education and training opportunities
  • more support to self employment
  • more Government support to and greater influence over employers
  • better information and advice

The comments from the floor were in broad agreement but the suggestions included:

  • an emphasis on the need to press the economic argument for employing disabled people.
  • to see if there are existing 'pockets of good practice which can be utilised.
  • emphasising the importance of skills matching.
  • the need to demand the right to work.
  • better protection with regard to reasonable adjustments in the work place.
  • making Access to Work more employment friendly

Disability Rights UK would like to thank all those who attended.

Sue Bott
Asif Hussain
Phil Friend
Mick Dillon
Daniel Holt
Ian Loynes