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DR UK statement on leaving the DCC

18 June 2021

Dear members,

For the past 18 months Disability Rights UK has been working on an internal strategy review. We have been looking at how we can work more deeply, with greater listening, and greater amplification of the voices of Disabled people.

It became clearer than it had ever been at the start of the pandemic that the voices of Disabled people were in danger of becoming lost. Disabled people were at the most risk from Covid, struggling with restricted income, either due to furlough or redundancy, or due to Disability benefits not being increased in the same way as other benefits. We struggled to access food, medicines and safe transport. Hospital appointments were risky and hard to access. Do not resuscitate notes were arbitrarily assigned to our medical records. The virus infiltrated care homes. And as we are all aware, with the heaviest of hearts, Disabled people were the people who died in the greatest numbers throughout the pandemic.

If there was one small silver lining in these truly terrible times, it was that it strengthened our resolve to gather together our voices, speak truth to power, loudly and clearly, and make sure that we are heard. So we did just that. We now have a group of Disabled People’s Organisations in membership who meet regularly to share what is working and what is not working in their local areas across the UK.

Disability Rights UK has always been the UK’s leading UK-wide Disabled Person’s Organisation. We have always been user-led, and are committed to remaining user-led. Our board, our leadership team, our membership, and the vast majority of our staff are Disabled people. Our mission is to effect change as Disabled people, for Disabled people, listening and carrying voices to the heart of decision making in national Government.

We have searched our hearts and decided to leave the Disability Charities Consortium (DCC). Going forward, the bulk of our work will be with Disabled People’s Organisations led and run by Disabled people.

We are committed to working with all organisations which put Disabled people first in their work, and will continue to work with DCC organisations where the confluence of our knowledge and experience works stronger together, but we will no longer sit under the umbrella of the DCC as an organisation.

There is so much further to go for Disabled people to be given full equality across every level of society.

We invite you, as Disabled people, to speak to us, and join us, to form a strong, loud and visible movement with us, as we work to make our rights a reality.

Kamran Mallick

CEO, Disability Rights UK