This page will keep members up to date with what is happening around the DAA’s long-term strategy and any subsequent changes to how the DAA works. It is where you will find:
information that is feeding into this thinking,
answers to questions you might have, and
links and information about member consultation activity.
If there is some information that you would like to see on here that is missing, please do contact us at: DAA@disabilityrightsuk.org.
A Statement of Change
Published 15th February 2016
The Disability Action Alliance (DAA) is now in its third year of existence and is coming of age! With over 400 members, a track record of tangible outcomes through collaboration and members starting to work together in new and exciting ways, the steering group is now developing a long term strategy for the DAA.
The strategy will both focus on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the DAA and build on natural evolutions in the way that members are engaging with each other. As a starting point the Steering Group is reviewing the DAA’s impact so far and considering how best to build on achievements. This is with the aim of better enabling collaborative working that makes a positive difference to disabled people’s full participation.
The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is providing a 1 year grant to fund the next stage of the development of the DAA and its long-term strategy. As part of this grant the steering group has decided the DAA’s chairing organisation, Disability Rights UK should undertake the secretariat function for the period of the grant. Though Government facilitated the DAA’s birth, it is felt that now is the time to put disabled people at the heart of the DAA’s delivery.
The Steering Group welcomes input from DAA members and will be approaching the membership for input from March-May. Participation from members will be particularly important as the Steering Group reviews where the DAA focuses its energies, how it can best enable its members to join up both locally and nationally, what form the Alliance should take longer term and how the DAA can ensure sustainability.
Liz Sayce, chair of the DAA and chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “The unique thing the Disability Action Alliance does is act as a catalyst. It brings organisations that don’t know each other together, across different sectors, linking people with good ideas to others who can ‘open doors’, with practical results. It’s great that disabled people are setting the direction, with many allies, and that organisations led by disabled people are strongly represented on the Steering Group. I look forward to working with the DAA’s members to forge a successful future for the DAA, enabling collaborative work that leads to strategic and practical change and ultimately to greater participation of disabled people across society’.
A supportive statement: Minister for Disabled People
“Since taking up my role as the Minister for Disabled People I have been interested in the work that the Disability Action Alliance undertakes. The idea of a cross-sector alliance of organisations working in collaboration to drive forward improvements for disabled people is one that very much appeals to me.
I believe strongly that all organisations have a duty to ensure that they are inclusive, not only as a result of the duties placed on them through the Equality Act, but also to ensure that our society benefits from what disabled people have to offer. The cross-sector nature of the DAA supports this by acknowledging that all parts of our society must contribute if we are to build a truly inclusive society.
Given the importance of the Alliance, I am pleased to say that the Office for Disability Issues will be providing a grant for the development of a strategy that places particular focus on the DAA’s long-term sustainability. As a Minister with a responsibility for halving the disability employment gap, I am also very encouraged by the decision to ensure that disabled people will be at the heart of delivering the DAA from this point on. To watch this alliance grow and evolve is an honour, and I wish to provide my full support as it takes this courageous step.”
What do members of the Steering Group think?
The DAA Steering Group Chair provided a statement in the announcement above, however other members of the Steering Group also wanted to share their thoughts on the changes and the thinking so far on the DAA’s long-term strategy.
Andy Rickell, CEO of DPULO Action on Disability and Work UK, says “What got me involved in the DAA Steering Group in the first place was the opportunity to address issues for disabled people that needed partnership with government and others in the private, public and voluntary sectors. My experience as the leader of several DPULOs is that we often struggle to engage successfully with the key organisations at a strategic level that allow us to achieve major improvements for disabled people. The DAA had key organisations like the ODI around the table that helped to broker the co-operation needed. The future direction of the DAA will allow us to add to what we have learnt about successful engagement with other organisations to allow DPULOs to build powerful alliances committed to real change. Creating an active environment where DPULOs, government and other allies from across society and the economy are keen to work together will add a public facility we have not had before.
Stephanie Harvey of the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) says “I am proud to say that the ODI has been a key member in the creation and development of the Disability Action Alliance (DAA). Launched in 2013, following the outcomes of the Fulfilling Potential strategy, the DAA has grown significantly. With more than 400 members and a long list of achievements through collaborative working, the value of the DAA and what it brings to the table is well understood. Having proven its value, it is now imperative to ensure the long-term sustainability of the DAA in a way that coincides with how the DAA is naturally evolving.
As such the ODI is very pleased to announce that we will be providing a 1 year grant to fund the development and implementation of a long-term strategy. The strategy seeks to build on the good work already achieved, place disabled people at the heart of the running of the DAA and, crucially, to ensure its sustainability long-term. Though the ODI will no longer deliver the secretariat function, instead placing disabled people themselves at the centre of the DAA, we will remain key members of the Steering Group. As long standing members of this group, the ODI is really excited about the opportunities that developing such a strategy presents.”
Stephen Brookes of Disability Hate Crime Network, says ‘The original driver to me was to be part of the Disability Action Alliance with its aim of the achieving a key part of the Fulfilling Potential project for disabled people. Over the period of the last three years I have seen that happening in a range of ways to the point where the Disability Action Alliance has come of age and needs its own space and control to develop even more successfully. Networking is a skill I gained in my pre disability work, and having created a successful regional network of DPULO’s, the voluntary sector and the business sector, I see how the Alliance can both help such networks to develop and grow as a result of similar initiatives. The fact that this is not Londoncentric is key to such successful partnership engagement and growth and something that I’m proud to say the DAA encourages.
All the members of the Alliance do know the immense support given by the Office For Disability Issues, and we acknowledge with particular thanks the secretariat team who have been invaluable to the growth of DAA. Maintaining the links between the Alliance and the ODI through their membership of the Steering Group is essential in future developments, to ensure effective signposting to all areas of government and statutory departments to work with us to implement future change. As we all know, the disability sector is one which has its own challenges and barriers, not least from within, and the fact that we have so many organisations with disabled people at their heart working together shows what can be done in unity. I think all of us involved in the Disability Action Alliance recognise that we have much work to do and the role of Disability Rights Uk as a coordinating force is one I welcome, particularly in its aims to encourage work and volunteering opportunities for disabled people.’
Ray Ashley of English Federation of Disabled Sport, says “Becoming a member of the Disability Action Alliance has provided an important opportunity for English Federation of Disabled Sport (EFDS) to build partnerships with organisations outside of the sports sector to take forward the EFDS Charter for Change. I am excited about the direction the DAA is working towards and the further opportunities for members to work collaboratively, creating new cross sector partnerships at both the grass roots and regional and national levels.”
The Steering Group would like to take this opportunity to thank all those DAA members that have participated in the DAA over the last three years, whether by leading or joining projects, attending events or sending in information, news stories or events. Going forward the feedback and input of the DAA membership will be key to developing a truly inclusive and effective Disability Action Alliance.
Want to know more?
If you would like to know more about this work and what it means for members, please do take a look at our Questions and Answers page. If you have a question that isn’t listed, please do contact us at FULFILLING.POTENTIAL@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK
If you want take a look at what the DAA has achieved through its members so far, please do take a look at our Achievements page.
If you would like more information about how the way that members are working together has been evolving over the last year, do have a read through our three case studies:
- Building grassroots partnerships.
- Building a community of practice.
- Evolving in a cross-sector regional networks.