Bradford City Council: a better place for disabled people
Summary: The Strategic Disability Partnership is a group of people who make sure the needs and hopes of disabled people and their carers are listened to, valued and included in the future plans for the Bradford District. The Partnership makes sure all disabled people and their carers are heard and make sure they are accessible to all disabled groups. The aims include: to make the Bradford District the best place for disabled people to live, work and visit; to make sure that what is done to improve the lives of disabled people in Bradford works well; to make sure that disabled people are treated with respect by those who provide services and by people in their community; to bring together disabled people and people who provide services and support; and finally to make it possible for disabled people and people who provide services to discuss the issues that affect the lives of disabled people and carers as equals.
Action taken: The 2001 Census showed 86,486 people in the Bradford district (18.5% of the population) considered that they had a long-term limiting illness. In May 2006, 25,150 people in Bradford between the ages of 16 and 65 were claiming incapacity benefit or severe disability allowance. Of these people, 27% were under the age of 30. Bradford's population projections suggested there would a 12% overall projected increase in the number of people whose activities would be limited by health in the next 15 years. This background analysis led the council to establish a Disability Partnership Group and action plan to tackle endemic inequalities. The council wanted the district to be a place where everyone can take part and have the life they choose.
Outcome: The work carried out by a council officer who oversees Bradford's disability partnership, combined with the valuable contribution made by disabled residents involved in the disability partnership means simple but reasonable adjustments are prioritized in council service provision. For example the partnership has played a role in enabling residents with a visual impairment to receive a telephone call from the council providing a verbal explanation of their council tax bill.
Local resident Sue Scott said, "I thought this was a really good service. I felt back in control of my life. I was so excited that I did not think at the time that it would have been better to let me know before the first payment went out last Friday. Even so, it is a super success for access to information for disabled people in Bradford."
* Source: Joint response to the Government's Review of the Public Sector Equality Duty from a group of disability charities and disabled people’s organisations including: Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea, Action on Hearing Loss, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion London, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mind, National AIDS Trust, Royal National Institute of Blind People, Scope and Sense