Project Theme: Participating in community and social life

The communities we live in and the friends and support we have are very important to our lives.

Communities come in many shapes and forms. They can be defined in terms of place, for example, your “local community” where you live, or rural or urban communities. Or the word “community” can describe a group of people who have the same interest or culture. There are lots of ways to describe a community but is usually a place where people find mutual support and company, as well as services to meet every day needs.

Being part of a local community which respects disabled people’s rights, is very important for independent living. Everyone should have the freedom to visit their friends and relatives. Everyone should be able to go to the local cinema, sports centre, evening classes, places of worship, or any other local places and events if they want to.

But too often disabled people are excluded. They do not get the support they need to do these things. And even if they can get to such places, it does not follow that they will be able to participate on an equal basis.  Too often disabled people have not been involved in any discussions about how the services they need are provided to them, for example from the local authority or from a voluntary organisation. Without hearing disabled people’s views, organisations providing services don’t know how the services could be best designed and planned.  And even if well designed, properly funded services may not be available to all, or, disabled people may live “in the community” but not be included in it. They are left in isolation.

Within the theme of participating in community and social life DRILL is particularly interested in projects that lead to / promote solutions:

  • that work best for disabled people in relation to social security delivery
  • that work best for disabled people in relation to social care support
  • to achieve more accessible and inclusive housing.