Community Development Work
What We Do
We work with key people across the community including; Disability Organisations, Local Authorities, Education and Training Board (ETB’s) County Partnerships, Public Participation Networks (PPN’s), Family Resource Centres and local community groups.
We work to make sure that they:
- understand disability and the challenges people with disabilities face;
- consider how the actions they take are likely to affect people with disabilities;
- create equal opportunities for people with disabilities to be involved.
We also work with People with Disabilities to:
- Build their confidence.
- Help them gain the skills they need to speak up for themselves.
- Identify opportunities for them to speak-up.
- Create spaces for them to work together on making positive change happen.
How We Do It
Some examples of our work include:
- Self-Advocacy Training
We deliver training aimed at building confidence and learning the skills you need to represent yourself. Training is co-facilitated. In other words, the tutor and a person with a lived experience of disability share the job of delivering the training.
- Creating a stronger voice
We provide opportunities for access and advocacy groups to meet regionally and nationally. We encourage them to share their experiences and ideas and to work together on common goals.
- Local Authority Work
In some regions, the local authority part-funds the work we do. So far, this has given us the opportunity to;
- Speak to elected representatives about the issues affecting people with disabilities at local monthly meetings.
- Provide disability awareness training to staff from all departments including housing, engineering and roads.
- Be a point of contact for people with disabilities locally.
- Develop advocacy and consultation groups that can communicate directly with the local authority.
- Community Participation Network
We set up a network of individuals and community organisations called the Community Participation Network, or CPN for short. These groups work together to try to understand new local authority structures and how they can be used to strengthen the voice of people with disabilities. They also support people with disabilities to represent themselves and others by providing training and holding regular catch-up meetings. CPN are currently active in the West and Mid West of the Country.