Leading disabled people's charities form 'Disability Rights UK'

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 parliamentarians.

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."

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Last Updated : 25 October 2011. Page Author: Laura Bimpson.