Darlington Association on Disability was established in 1986 as a voluntary and charitable organisation led by disabled people. It exists to promote independence and choice, and supports disabled people and carers through the provision of services, support and information and by tackling issues locally and nationally. DAD promotes the social model of disability, and as part of that remit is actively involved in promoting disability equality and awareness of anti discrimination legislation.
DAD acts as a focal point for consultation with disabled people and carers. It also manages a range of services / projects to support its aims.
Monday 1st September, saw the introduction of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) reforms begin in schools and colleges as part of the Children and Families Act 2014. The reforms to SEND support are far reaching and will impact every student with additional needs.
Statements of Special Educational Needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments are being replaced by Education Health and Care (EHC) Plans. The legal threshold for an EHC Plan remains the same as that of a Statement of Special Educational Needs so it is not anticipated that anyone will lose their support as a result of the changes. The purpose of the new EHC Plans are to co-ordinate support for children and young people and to make sure that services are working together to achieve positive outcomes.
The process should be ‘person centred’ which means finding out what is important to the person now and in the future and making sure that the support works towards the person being able to achieve their aspirations.
Plans are for children and young people from 0-25. This means that a young person’s EHC Plan should be maintained through School, College, a Traineeship or Apprenticeship and up to the age of 25 as long as there are still educational needs which can include developing independent living skills.
Children and young people have new rights to participate in the assessment and planning process. The views of young people (defined in the legislation as the end of the summer term in which the child turns 16) now take precedence over that of their parents (assuming that the young person has capacity).
For the first time families will be able to request a Personal Budget for some or all of their support which can include Direct Payments.
If you would like further information or support please contact the ChYPS team at DAD on 01325 489999 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Darlington's Local Offer
Local authorities now have a duty to provide a ‘Local Offer’ of information regarding services and support available to children and young people with SEND in their local area. You can view Darlington’s ‘Local Offer’ by visiting Darlington People's Information Point website or by calling the People and Families Information Service on 0800 917 21 21.
The local authority have a duty to review the Local Offer and its content and must involve parents of children with SEN and young people with SEN when they do this. If you would like to be involved with the development of the ‘Local Offer’ you can join the Darlington Parent Carer Forum, more details of which are available by calling 01325 489999.
Information for young people on the changes to their special educational needs and disability support.
The Council for Disabled Children (CDC) has been working in co-production with disabled children and young people to produce a range of information materials for children and young people on behalf of the Department for Education on the special educational needs and disability reforms.
They have created leaflets, posters and short films on four key areas of the reforms to let children and young people know what is changing and who can support them to find out more detailed information. These four key areas are:
Education, Health and Care plans,
Post-16 support, and
The Local Offer.
You can view the information materials in CDC's Resource Hub.
Direct Payments Support Service Employer Bulletin
The Employer Bulletins from Direct Payments are now being published online, the September 2014 issue being the first. The Newsletter section of Self Directed Support's section has been enlarged to include past and future Employer Bulletin issues.
The July 2014 issue of the DAD Newsletter "Break Through!" has now been published.
DAD Stakeholder Forum - register your interest now!
Darlington Association on Disability is a user led organisation. To help us to be as user led as possible we hold a regular Stakeholder Forum. Members of the Forum consist of all the Trustees, the Senior Management Team, service users or their representatives, representatives from DAD projects, interested DAD members and other DAD staff when relevant. The Stakeholder Forum has a non-decision making role, but offers opportunities to bring new ideas and influence DAD Trustees and the Senior Management Team. For example, DAD members could:
• bring ideas and concerns about our day to day operations;
• suggest how alternative funding might be obtained;
• contribute to or challenge our policies;
• put forward proposals on how we could do even more for disabled people and carers.
DAD projects, particularly new ones or ones that have changed over time use the Forum to explain what they do and how, as well as encourage members of the Forum to voice their opinions. All proposed new projects can use the Forum as a valuable sounding board. Any Forum member is able to put relevant items on the agenda within a set timescale.
We propose to hold a Stakeholder Forum two or three times a year, taking up a full morning or afternoon. We propose to vary meeting dates to include school holiday periods so young people can attend as well as term time to accommodate those with childcare needs.
If you are a DAD service user, DAD volunteer, DAD member or representative of a DAD project and you wish to be a member of DAD’s Stakeholder Forum please contact our Chair, Gordon Pybus, to register your interest. Email email@example.com phone 01325 489 999 or call into our main office in the marketplace and ask someone to give Gordon your name and contact details.
DAD Statement on Consultation
DAD welcomes the opportunity for consultation, and will endeavour at all times to provide information and advice which, if followed, would result in the best possible outcome for disabled people.
DAD recognises that consultation often forms one part of a larger decision making process, and that outcomes may not always reflect the balance of views that DAD has provided or the outcomes that it has advised.
Organisations must not expect DAD to endorse decisions made, following a process of consultation or advice-giving, where the final outcome does not reflect the views of, or advice provided by, DAD or gives the impression in any way that DAD does endorse said decisions.
Personal Assistants/Support Workers Vacancies
Please visit this page to see the latest vacancies. These vacancies were last updated on 30th October 2014.
Independent Living Hub - Vacancies
DAD’s Independent Living Hub is currently recruiting Casual Personal Assistants (CPAs) to add to our excellent team. Please visit the Vacancies section of the website for more details.
Third Party Reporting Centre-Press Release
Hate Incidents and Crimes are generally reported straight to the police, however, if people would prefer not to, or need support they can now report any hate incident/crime against a disabled person through Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) during office hours, 9:30 - 5, Mon - Fri.
A hate incident is any incident which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived to be motivated by prejudice or hate against disabled people.
For example - Name calling, verbal abuse or harassment
A hate crime is a hate incident which does constitute a criminal offence, and again is motivated by prejudice or hate against disabled people.
For example - Attacks, physical abuse and Graffiti
The victim, a witness or any other person who knows or believes a hate crime/incident has taken place can make a report.
So why report it? The third party reporting system allows you to report a hate incident/crime to the police through DAD by giving us as little or as much information as you wish. All reports are kept confidential. By reporting it, it will enable the police to act upon such incidents and also build up patterns of behaviour and areas within the community where hate incidents and crimes are being committed, enabling them to allocate resources more effectively.
Safety and security, and the right to live free from fear and harassment, are fundamental human rights.
Gordon Pybus, Chair of DAD said “It is vitally important that disabled people should always report any hate incident or crime because what could be just name calling one day could easily escalate into a serious incident even leading to a fatality.”
Mike Cleasby, Valuing People Co-ordinator (Darlington Borough Council) said “The Council is committed to working in partnership with people with disabilities, DAD & the Police to increase public confidence and reduce the fear of crime. This scheme will allow an alternative way for people to report hate crime incidents, and will show perpetrators that we have a seamless approach to tackling this issue.”
Inspector Mark Button, Darlington Neighbourhood Team said “The police in Darlington recognise the importance of such an initiative that would improve the process of reporting such incidents, and we will fully support this integrated partnership approach to ensure it’s success.”
If you would like to report a hate incident/crime or for more information, please call into the DAD offices in Horsemarket or telephone 01325 489999 or email DAD
How you can support us
Make a donation
Our trustees and staff are working hard to save DAD’s services and we would appreciate any support you are able to give. One way to acknowledge the difference DAD has made to your life would be to make a regular monthly donation to DAD.
Visit our page on the justgiving website JustGiving to make a secure online donation. The page also allows you to follow our fundraising activities and sponsor an activity. You can also make a donation by calling in to any of DAD's offices. A regular donation to DAD would enable us to continue with our work, supporting disabled people and carers. If you would like to make a regular donation by Direct Debit please contact our Business Support Officer, Judith, at DAD’s main office in the Market Place.
Help DAD Reduce Costs
If you have any old mobile phones or empty printer cartridges, DAD has a collection point in the reception area of Head Office and you will be helping to raise money to support DAD.
Darlington Association on Disability is an organisation led by disabled people, which exists to promote independence and choice.
DAD supports disabled people and carers through the provision of services, support and information and by tackling issues affecting disabled people both locally and nationally.