Darlington Association on Disability Logo showing the letters D.A.D. breaking through a wallDarlington Association
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Introduction

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.

Volunteers needed please!

Please visit the ChYPS or Vacancies pages for details to join a team of volunteers on DAD’s DASH Play Scheme.

Update regarding Middlesbrough

DAD has expanded its employer support service to Middlesbrough, and have secured the contract to deliver this from Middlesbrough Borough Council. The service started on July 1st and will have a local office base.

Adverts for Personal Assistants are now published on the new Middlesbrough Direct Payment Employer Support Service section of the website.

Independent Living Hub

All Independent Living Hub sections of the website have been re-written. The personal experiences page is especially uplifting and hopefully inspiring to new members joining.

Cafe JJ

DAD are delighted to congratulate our friends at Cafe JJ on receiving their Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Further details can be read at The Northern Echo article.

DAD sadly closes Shopmobility Service and Town Centre Office

Message from DAD Trustees:

It is with a very heavy heart that the Trustees have had to decide that DAD can no longer continue to run the Shopmobility Service and that it is now permanently closed.

We have had to take this very difficult decision for a number of reasons;

• DAD can no longer afford to subsidise the service due to loss of funding in other areas

• The number of customers using the service has steadily decreased

• We have been unable to secure funds to keep equipment up to date and maintenance costs are therefore increasing

• The alternative premises in the multi storey car park are not viable and will cost more than the organisation has budgeted for.

Given all of the above, Trustees feel that there are no other options and therefore the service must close.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the customers, staff, volunteers and funders who have supported the service over the years and reassure them that DAD services and support will still be available from our other bases at Enterprise House, Valley Street and the Independent Living Hub at West Lodge, West Crescent.

A Word version of the issued press release is available for viewing here

A Factsheet that may be of assistance if you need to look for alternative support has been added to the Shopmobility section

DAD's Taxi

This is a new wheelchair accessible service which is now available to take bookings, please visit the new DAD's Taxi section of the website for further details.

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 agree 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.

There is a facility now for membership to be applied for online, to do so please visit the DAD Membership section

To check if you are a DAD company member or for any other enquiries, please contact Judith on 01325 489999 or email Judith Gledhill

Volunteers

Please visit our Volunteers section for information and our thanks to all our volunteers for their help and support over the years.

Independent Support

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).

SEND Reforms

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 chyps@darlingtondisability.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,
Decision making,
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 Gordon Pybus or phone 01325 489 999.

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.

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 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 Enterprise House.

Mission Statement

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.

Investor in PeopleDial UK Serving the Disability Network