Crippen looks at the changes of attitude being made towards User led Organisations / 7 March 2010
Sometimes when an old cynic like me thinks we are not making any progress and there’s too much of the same-old, same-old, I get a dig in the ribs and a reminder that us crips do occasionally have some influence. This nudge was another example of how we have penetrated the portals of policy and power.
Thanks to years of background work, solid research, lobbying, persuasion, arm-twisting and hard, under-funded graft by crips, disabled people’s (and carers´) organisations are now officially sexy and sought-after. There’s a big conference coming up this week run by the Department of Health on user-led organisations (ULO's). Of course lots of it now is in that impenetrable language – officialese – but there you go.
“The success and sustainability of User-Led Organisations is a vital part of the transformation of Adult Social Care and the wider personalisation agenda ... each Local Authority with social services responsibilities should have a User-Led Organisation in place by 2010. This conference is an opportunity to learn about and celebrate the successes achieved by ULO's ... ” goes the conference blurb.
Actually we do have something to celebrate here. These people just didn’t wake up one day and think “ah, let’s do something positive for the disabled [sic]”. Like with pushing for anti-discrimination legislation, like crips campaigning their guts out for direct payments (and individual budgets) and much, much more – being a thorn in the side of the Powers That Be does sometimes have an effect.
Before you think I’ve fallen into a vat of schmaltz and popped on a pair of rose-tinted specs, I hasten to assure you that the Crippen crap-o-meter is still pulsing. We need to see Councils putting some financial welly into all this to support crip organisations, properly and without strings attached.
We need to see this top-down rhetoric having a real effect locally – and – oh, please! – we need those medical-model, finance-gobbling, charity-focussed ‘for’ organisations to move over and let us take control of our lives.
A special thanks to Mrs Crippen for her invaluable input here.
Keywords: charities,disability professionals,disabled people's movement,politics,social model,user led organisations,