Disabled people, world-wide, have often found it difficult to make their voices heard. In the Forum, disabled people have the advantage of being able to link with others who are striving to bring about equality and celebrate diversity.
Newcastle Disability Forum was established in 1988, in response to a growing feeling that disabled people should have a genuine influence over City policies concerning everything from access and transport to education, training and housing. NDF regularly contributes, by invitation to City Council decision-making processes across various Directorates. In addition NDF are frequently consulted by health providers on a range of emerging issues
Day to day life is also improved for all who live, work or visit the City due to NDF’s influence, results of which include access guides and maps for the Ouseburn Parks, low floor/easy access buses and working with the Council to ensure potentially hazardous pavements are maintained.
The growing influence of NDF is reflected in the fact that the Forum’s expertise has increasingly become recognised and valued by organisations who may once have assumed that they were qualified to decide what disabled people might need in terms of services and facilities.
Forum members are delighted to be able to influence policies, services and amenities for the benefit of everyone. However, this growing influence also means that more people are needed to come forward and share in the Forum’s activities.
Potential members have no need to worry about being “flung in at the deep end” if they join NDF. Members are always willing to support each other. In-house training programmes are available to new and current members to enable them to deal with the various issues that they face.