Big Lottery Fund: New Research Funding to Help Disabled Voices be Heard

The issues and challenges facing disabled people will soon be better understood thanks to new research made possible with a £5 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Disability Action Northern Ireland and their partners Disability Rights UK, Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland have been awarded the grant to carry out Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) project over the next five years. The research will focus on the extent to which disabled people are able to live independently whilst gathering their opinions on how changes could be made.

Prejudices and a predominantly medical view of disability can still lead to negative attitudes towards disabled people including those who are considering starting their own family or trying to get into education or employment. One of the consequences of negative attitudes towards employment and work is that disabled people earn less and are more likely to end up living in poverty.

With this in mind the new research will aim to build on existing knowledge and develop evidence from disabled people on the issues they face to help influence and inform policy and practice and provide greater opportunities for disabled people to live independently while challenging negative perceptions about disability. The research findings will include ideas from disabled people on how they believe change might be brought about.

Pilot projects will then be developed using the findings to shape future policy and bring about real improvements to the lives of disabled people across the UK.

Peter Ainsworth, Chairman of the Big Lottery Fund,said: “Prejudice and assumptions can blight every aspect of a disabled person’s life, from raising a family to finding meaningful employment. This funding will mean that those affected by disability can make their voices heard and put people directly affected by disability at the heart of how their needs are addressed.”

Kevin Doherty, Chief Executive of Disability Action Northern Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to secure this funding. It’s a massive opportunity for disabled people to tackle issues that affect them in their day-to-day living and I am proud that Disability Action Northern Ireland and our partners in the UK will deliver on the project.”


Big Lottery Fund, Lottery Funded

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