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.
Stronger Voices…Strong Support 2nd Year Evaluation Report
Darlington Association on Disability’s 2nd year Evaluation is now available. The Evaluation of this Department of Health funded innovation project demonstrates how peer support has an impact upon the lives of disabled people, both who provide peer support and those who are in receipt of peer support.
As a Disabled People’s User Led organisation, DAD has always known that Peer Support is a fundamental pillar to enable independent living and empower disabled people. The project findings really do confirm the value of Peer Support mechanisms and its importance in the ever changing landscape of Personalisation.
• The support planning process is having a positive impact on changing people’s day to day lives.
• People are being supported to explore a wide range of options even though they are not eligible for health or social care services.
• Volunteer training is comprehensive, extremely valued and builds confidence, knowledge and skills.
• Being available in the community venues in order to provide information, advice and guidance has been a positive output.
• Strong friendships have been built and networks extended
• Volunteers have provided more time to individuals to think through their options.
As disabled people face a raft of cuts and changes to welfare benefits, reduction in care and support, new legislative changes, and the closure of the Independent Living Fund, many older and disabled people will become isolated and excluded from their families and communities. Now and in the future, peer support is even more a priority, a way to empower, build confidence, self-esteem, provide choice and control and will be imperative for the lives of disabled people and their families.
One participant commented that: “From being involved in the project I realise I have a contribution to make, value and a future. Before I didn’t think I had one. Not just existing but developing myself instead to be a disabled person who has the right to be something”
Please visit our Vacancies section for details of positions now available in the Children and Young People's Service (ChYPS) and on the DASH Play Schemes.
Searching for first class drivers for the real ‘DADs taxi’
News in a nutshell:
• Recruiting drivers for a new accessible taxi service for Darlington
• Looking for high calibre drivers with exceptional service skills
• Offering support to train dedicated applicants
• The service will offer independence to residents with mobility needs
Are you a qualified private hire taxi driver already registered to work in Darlington or would you like to be? Do you have a passion for delivering outstanding service? Are you looking to take on a highly rewarding role within the community? Then we want to hear from you.
A new social enterprise is searching for a fleet of highly skilled drivers for a new accessible taxi service being launched in Darlington.
The service will start with one vehicle and there are aims to expand it as it becomes more successful. The vehicle is of a high spec and can take up to 5 passengers, one being seated in a wheelchair. The service will be accessible to all so it will operate as any other taxi service does meeting the needs of all customers.
Successful applicants will receive bespoke training covering the specific needs of customers expected to use the service. This will ensure that the accessible taxi service delivers the much needed service that Darlington requires.
The social enterprise has been jointly formed by DAD (Darlington Association on Disability) and ABC Taxis and is supported by Local Motion; a local project funded by the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.
Lauren Robinson, Chief Executive of DAD commented “Due to the requirements of customers, the drivers we are looking to recruit need to be able to demonstrate exceptional people skills and be mindful of the needs of our customers. We are sure there are some outstanding drivers out there who would be perfect for the job and are looking forward to receiving their applications.”
Councillor Andrew Scott, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Partnerships said “The new accessible taxi service will help to improve the lives of residents of Darlington who currently have difficulty getting out and about. The social enterprise is aiming to deliver the highest quality service both through the model and spec of the vehicle and the quality of drivers. The customers will be transported in comfort.”
Please contact Judith Gledhill at DAD, email Judith@darlingtondisability.org, for an application form or call in at ABC’s office on Northgate, Darlington
Independent Support is a new service provided by DAD and the Information Advice Service for SEND (formerly Parent Partnership Service).
Care Act 2014
The Care Act received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014. It has replaced previous care and support law and will provide:
• A minimum eligibility threshold across the country - a set of criteria that makes it clear when local authorities will have to provide support to people.
• A local authority duty to consider the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the individual needing care. They will also have a new duty to provide preventative services to maintain people’s health.
• The care system to be built around each person - through Personal Budgets.
• A cap on personal ‘care costs’ (not including accommodation costs) of £72,000.
• Carers to be entitled to an assessment in their own right.
Factsheets have been produced to accompany Part 1 of the Act and will come into force on 1st April 2015 (unless otherwise noted).
DAD is looking for new Company Members.
Can you support us by becoming a Company Member of DAD?
Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) is a charity limited by guarantee this means it is a charity and a company.
DAD runs projects and schemes that have members like Shopmobility, Carers, Young Leaders, Stakeholders and the Independent Living Hub for example. We are pleased to have so many members of groups and projects getting actively involved but it has led to some confusion over the membership of DAD itself.
The confusion comes from the misunderstanding around DAD Membership. Many people who are members of these groups, projects and schemes believe they are members of DAD, but unfortunately they are not.
To be a DAD company member you must be a member of the company and DAD would like as many people as possible to be a DAD company member whether they are already members of a group, project or scheme within the organisation or not. Volunteers, service users or anyone who is interested in disability or carer issues are welcome.
Company membership is free; however, anyone wishing to be a member must agree to the company Memorandum of Articles and sign agreeing to abide by them. The Memorandum of Articles can be translated or read out and explained if that is what someone prefers.
DAD company members and only DAD company members can vote at the AGM or any General Meeting. Only DAD company members can become Trustees of DAD and only DAD company members can make changes to DAD’s Governance. DAD aims to ensure that disabled people and carers have control over their own lives and by becoming a DAD company member you will be helping us to continue our essential work.
Please apply now to be a DAD company member. If you think you are already, please still get in contact with us so we can check.
To apply for membership or check if you are a DAD company member please contact Judith on 01325 489999 or email Judith@darlingtondisability.org
Darlington Parent Carer Forum Newsletter
The March 2015 edition of the DPCF newsletter has now been published.
Direct Payments Support Service Employer Bulletin
The Newsletter section of Self Directed Support's section has been enlarged to include past and future Employer Bulletin issues.
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.
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 6th May 2015.
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.