Office for Disability Issues [March 2012] Fulfilling Potential: working together to empower disabled people. Our response.

Fulfilling potential: Working together to empower disabled people


The Government consulted on the writing of a ‘Disability Strategy’ to help them make progress for independent living and equality for disabled people. The Fulfilling potential consultation asked disabled people and disabled people’s groups what actions should be in the strategy. The consultation focused on three areas:

  1. How disabled people can realise their aspirations throughout their lives
  2. How individuals can take more control of their lives
  3. How we can change attitudes and behaviour to support this

This new strategy is intended to build on previous discussions with disabled people, including the Independent Living Strategy, the Roadmap and the UK’s report to the UN on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People.

The consultation closed in March 2012. You can view Disability Rights UK's response to it here.

On 17 September 2012 the Government published two documents which set out its approach to the commitment to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and play a full role in society. These are:

  • Fulfilling Potential - the Discussions So Far which summarises what disabled people and their organisations have told the Government, highlights actions already planned and actions underway across Government. The Government has also published all of the written responses to the discussion document online.
  • Fulfilling Potential – Next Steps which outlines Government strategic narrative and areas for action. It sets out the principles that will guide the Government’s future work in supporting disabled people to realise their aspirations, promote a fair and equal society and create more inclusive communities.

On 2 July 2013 the Government published Fulfilling Potential: Making it happen.

You can download these documents at

Disability Action Alliance

In response to the Disability Strategy consultation (Fulfilling Potential – Next Steps) the Government has created the Disability Action Alliance to help respond to the ideas put forward by disabled people and their organisations on living fulfilling lives. This was convened by Disability Rights UK and supported by the Office for Disability Issues..

The Alliance will consider thousands of suggestions put forward by disabled people earlier this year as part of the ‘Fulfilling Potential’ discussion.

Email to get involved in the Alliance.

View Disability Rights UK's statement on the Disability Action Alliance.

Accessible Britain Challenge

The Accessible Britain Challenge encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible.Find out more at

Other 'Fulfilling potential' reports and consultations

On 13 February 2013 the Office for disability Issues (ODI) published ‘Fulfilling Potential: Building a deeper understanding of disability in the UK today’. This aims to:

  •  provide an analysis of the current evidence on disability in the UK to inform the development of the next stage of work on Fulfilling Potential – the development of actions, outcomes and indicators
  • inform public understanding and prompt debate about disability and the issues faced by disabled people
  • to raise awareness, drive a change in attitudes and support an increase in commitment to improving the lives of disabled people in the UK today

You can view our response to the publication of 'fulfilling potential: building a deeper understanding of disability in the uk'.

In July 2013 the ODI published the consultation 'Better working with disabled people'. You can view Disability Rights UK's response here. The Government's response was published in January 2014. The response proposes a new strategic engagement forum, run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), in collaboration with the Department of Health (DH).

Also in July 2013 the ODI published ‘Fulfilling Potential – Making it Happen’ which sets out the Government’s plans for delivering its aim that disabled people should be enabled to achieve their aspirations and play a full role in society. It also attempts to show how disabled people are seeing improvements in many key outcomes and reduced inequalities with non-disabled people.

You can view our response to this here.

Inter-departmental Ministerial Group (IMG)

The IMG was recently set up by Alliance members the Office for Disability Issues (ODI). It is chaired by the Minister of State for Disabled People and brings together Ministers from right across Government with the aim of encouraging and stimulating progress to ensure disabled people are included in society and have opportunities to realise their aspirations. They will launch a 'Day of Activity' on Thursday 4th September 2014, which will challenge local communities to demonstrate what they are doing to make their area inclusive and accessible for disabled people.

More information

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