Disability Alliance, the National Centre for Independent Living
and Radar have agreed to unify to form 'Disability Rights UK'.
After more than a year of negotiations and supporting
recommendations from the current Boards of Trustees, the AGMs of
the three existing charities have now formally agreed the process
to unify on 1 January 2012.
Liz Sayce, Chief Executive Designate of the new Disability Rights
UK, said: "It is fantastic that the members of the three
organisations have voted overwhelmingly in favour of coming
together to create the largest pan-disability national organisation
led by disabled people, which will enable many more disabled people
to have a voice."
The current charities have over 600 member organisations across
the UK as well as over 500 individual disabled people as members.
Disability Rights UK will be well placed to represent the views of
all disabled people across a range of different impairment groups
and health conditions.
Sue Bott, chief executive of NCIL added: "Disability Rights UK
will continue to provide the existing charities' services and
support - including the Radar key, DA's Disability Rights Handbook
and NCIL's Direct Payments and independent living support. We will
also continue some of the important former skill services which DA
has been delivering. But we aim to increase the services,
consultancy, training and support we offer to disabled people,
governments, employers and beyond as an ambitious new organisation
dedicated to achieving equality for disabled people."
The new organisation will offer a range of support for disabled
people, education providers, employers, welfare rights advisors,
local and national government, journalists and
Richard Gutch, currently Interim CEO of DA and project manager for
the merger said: "With so much change in public services it is now
more important than ever that disabled people and the people
supporting disabled people have one source of expertise and advice
to call on. Disability Rights UK will be that source of
independent, authoritative support. As one organisation, it will
also be more sustainable and better placed to respond to the
challenges faced by the sector."