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.
DAD's latest Break Through! newsletter, published May 2013, is now available to view online.
DASH judged as ‘Good’ by OfSTED
DASH play schemes were recently inspected by OfSTED and found to be ‘Good’ in all areas. The inspection was carried out on the Honey Bears play scheme for 3 - 7 year olds and judgements made about the quality of the provision.
The report highlights our strengths in;
• providing a welcoming inclusive environment
• providing a wide range of activities and experiences which build upon childrens interests
• how well children are safeguarded and their well being supported and
• the fair, calm and consistent approach of staff.
We are delighted with the report and its findings which reflect the hard work,commitment and enthusiasm of staff and volunteers that support DASH.
A full copy of the report can be viewed here.
For further information about DASH play schemes, including how to request places, please contact the Children and Young Peoples Service on 01325 254848, email email@example.com or text 07624 818780.
Advocacy is now provided by DAD, please visit the Advocacy section for further information.
DAD response to judgement in the claim against Arriva for disability discrimination
The following piece was published in the Northern Echo on Thursday 2nd May 2013:
A disabled rights activist has slammed a court hearing which ruled one of the region's largest bus operators had not breached equality laws over wheelchair access.
Gordon Pybus, chairman of the Darlington Association on Disability, has spoken out in support of disabled people who took the Arriva North East to court over claims they had been refused access to Arriva buses because able-bodied passengers had taken the wheelchair spaces.
The county court hearing in Teesside on Wednesday ruled that Arriva North East had not breached the Equality Act, although Judge Peter Bowers did tell the company to make adjustments to ensure wheelchair users are not unduly disadvantaged.
Mr Pybus said the ruling made a mockery of Government legislation introduced more than a decade ago which stipulates that by 2020 all buses, coaches and double deckers must be wheelchair accessible.
He said: “What is the point in making sure that every single bus has wheelchair spaces if the bus companies are under no obligation by law to make sure that those spaces are reserved for wheelchairs, not for buggies and prams?
“We have got to give disabled people and wheelchair users more confidence about using public transport.
“But if you are a wheelchair user and you know there is only one space allocated for you, and if that space is taken by someone else and there’s nothing the driver will do about that, how confident are you going to be about taking the bus? Not at all.”
One of the measures recommended to Arriva North East by Judge Bowers was to set up a bus hotline for disabled users.
A company spokeswoman said it was too early to say exactly what that service would entail, but Mr Pybus is angry that a hotline has even been suggested.
“No other bus user is expected to ring a bus before they get on it, it is ridiculous to expect wheelchair users to have to,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Arriva said the company had no further comment to make, other than a statement released by managing director Nigel Featham after the judgement was announced.
Mr Featham said the company welcomed the judgement, but was disappointed that the matter had reached court.
He added: “We are always open and willing to discuss issues affecting people with disabilities to help make public transport even more accessible wherever possible.”
New Direct Payment and Self Directed section
We are delighted to launch the new Direct Payment and Self Directed Support section of DAD’s website. Please visit the Self Directed Support home page from where you will find lots of information to help you have greater choice and control over your support.
We hope you find it useful and would welcome any feedback you have, please email Stacey if you would like to give feedback either positive or negative. If you live in Darlington and use a direct payment and are interested in purchasing support from the DAD Direct Payment Support Service (including people who use ILF or if you pay for your own support) and need further support or information please contact us to discuss your options.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Goes Live!
New claims for PIP (replacing Disability Living Allowance) go live on 8th April 2013 in the North East. This does not affect you if you are already getting DLA.
How to claim for PIP
Phone the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (text 0800 917 7777) to make a new claim. They will send you a form asking you to describe how your impairment or long-term health condition affects you. You can describe your condition on both good and bad days, and when you’re doing different things.
You can ask someone to phone DWP for you, but you will need to be there too. DWP will ask for some personal details, so you should have this information ready:
• your National Insurance number
• your address
• your date of birth
• your bank or building society details
• your telephone number
• the name of your doctor or health worker
• details of any time you’ve spent out of the country
• details if you’re in a care home or hospital, or if you’ve recently been in a care home or a hospital
Tell us your views
DWP is keen to find out how PIP is working. This information will feed in to improve the existing design and may impact on longer term, strategic design considerations. If you have personal experience of PIP over the coming months and would like to share your views, good or bad, please contact Jane Woodward, Equality and Rights Officer at DAD. Phone Jane on 01325 489 999, text 07624 818780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A new Welfare Benefits section has been added to the site. Please take a moment to browse the page, the information was updated on 11th April 2013.
New Wheeled Bin Service
Disabled people have raised concerns with Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) about the New Wheeled Bin Service. Concerns range from not being able to use the new bins to bins obstructing the pavement.
Some people are concerned about their assisted collection. DAD has been given assurance that people who already get assisted collection will continue to receive the service without having to reapply. However, people who find they no longer require the service when the wheeled bin service starts can ask to have their names removed from the list.
If you have very little space for the new wheeled bin you might be asked to share one with a neighbour. Before agreeing, you should carefully consider that if the bin is full with your neighbours rubbish you can’t put bags next to it. So only agree if you are confident that you and your neighbour would never have enough rubbish combined to fill it.
The following is a statement from the department within Darlington Borough Council that is responsible for the service. If you still have a problem after contacting the Council please contact DAD.
Darlington Borough Council
The Council’s new wheeled bin service will start in the week commencing Monday 17th June 2013.
Your wheeled bin should be delivered by Friday 7th June 2013 - if your bin has not arrived by then, please call 01325 388777.
When you get your new bin, please take it into your property. You can write your house number on the bin if you wish - there is a space on the lid for this.
Please try the bin out - they are designed to be lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, and can be wheeled up and down steps. If you find, after having a test run, that you cannot manage with your wheeled bin, please call 01325 388777 to discuss the possibility of using the Council’s assisted bin collection service.
The Council is asking all residents to put their wheeled bin out for collection at the edge of their property or in the back lane but not on the pavement as this can cause problems for people with visual impairments or wheelchair users. If you find that wheeled bins are being left in places that cause a problem to you, please call 01325 388777 to report the location and number on the bin.
Advice on how to use your new wheeled bin, including what you can and can’t put in, will be provided in the monthly Darlington Together magazine.
The Council is introducing the new service following advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The HSE reviewed the Council’s current refuse collection arrangements (black bin bag collections) and advised we should run a wheeled bin service to minimise the risk of musculo-skeletal and needle stick injuries to refuse collection staff.
The new service will bring Darlington Borough Council in line with over 90% of local authorities across the country that run wheeled bin services and ensure the safety of our refuse collectors.
Carers Strategies 2013-16
Darlington Borough Council is asking for people's comments on the draft Carers Strategy and Implementation Plan and the draft Young Carers Action Plan for 2013-16.
To view the draft plans, please visit the following links to the PDFs on the Council's website: Links to draft Carers Strategy and Implementation Plan and the draft Young Carers Action Plan for 2013-16
You can comment on these draft strategies by completing the Equality Impact Assessment Form (PDF document)
DAD Information Booklet
DAD's Information Booklet has now been revised and reprinted. Hard copies and other formats of the booklet are available from our Head Office.
Proposed new legislation for Carers
Carers UK has joined forces with Barbara Keeley MP and a cross party group of MPs to work on a new piece of legislation to support carers.
Barbara Keeley MP has put forward a Private Member’s Bill which champions carers. The bill, the Social Care (Local Sufficiency) and Identification of Carers Bill, aims to;
• revolutionise the way that local authorities plan social care services in their areas for people who by services themselves as well as those who rely on council social care services.
• focus on ensuring the right services are planned and developed to help carers struggling to juggle work and caring for ill or disabled loved ones
• create duties on the NHS, schools, colleges and universities to identify carers and signpost then to support and advice.
The bill places a duty on local authorities to conduct an assessment of the social care services available in their area, looking at whether sufficient and relevant care is being made available to disabled people and carers.
The proposed legislation will recognise for the first time the need for carers and disabled people to have the right services in place to allow them to remain in, or join the workforce.
Research last month from Age UK showed that the cost to the Government of carers being forced to give up work to care had reached £5.3 billion in lost tax revenues, lost earnings and increased benefit payments. The Bill reflects the economic imperative to help people juggle work and care and to support disabled people to work.
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. 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.
You can also visit our page on the justgiving website JustGiving to make a secure online donation.
To get a pro forma letter-
Discrimination against disabled bus travellers
Darlington Association on Disability is supporting a number of disabled people who are being regularly discriminated against by Arriva drivers on a number of bus routes across Darlington. Unfair treatment varies from refusing access to wheelchair users because pushchairs are already onboard to humiliating wheelchair users when they trying to board and alight from the bus.
Arriva has a legal duty not to treat disabled people less favourably than other passengers. Discrimination is not just against wheelchair users. It extends to other disabled people and also to those that travel with them, such as carers or friends.
DAD is aware that this is potentially a much bigger problem and we are appealing for people to come forward who have been similarly mistreated by Arriva. We have asked Unity Law, a specialist firm in disability discrimination cases, to prepare a group legal challenge.
If you are a disabled person or care for a disabled person and have experienced similar problems, please contact Jane at the DAD main office in Horsemarket, phone 01325 489999, text 07624 818780 or email email@example.com
Please click here to see a Northern Echo article on this situation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 17th May 2013.
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 email@example.com
How you can support us
Make a donation
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.