1. Mission Statement
- MDPAG exists to improve the lives of disabled people by actively promoting, through a combination of advocacy and expert guidance and campaigns, the removal of disabling barriers in Manchester, the North West and nationally.
- Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group (MDPAG) endorses and applies the Social Model of Disability, which identifies the barriers to participation as the causes of disability, not the individual and their impairments.
- The barriers can be physical, organisational, financial or attitudinal and have to be identified and removed. MDPAG recognises that disability, i.e. exclusion or discrimination, comes from the barriers which are identified by consultations with disabled people.
- MDPAG works to remove all access barriers, including access barriers in buildings, the environment, information, transport, education, housing, the arts, public, commercial and voluntary sector services and events.
- MDPAG recognises that a disabled person can be someone with a physical, sensory or cognitive impairment, who is neuro-diverse or has mental health issues or experiences mental distress, has a long term medical condition, or is a learning disabled person, or has a combination of any of these or other impairments, whether temporary or permanent, and who experiences access barriers in their lives. This includes many older people who may not identify themselves as disabled people but who encounter barriers in their life.
- MDPAG places at the centre of its work the need to consult with and learn from a diverse range of disabled people. It will seek to ensure that as far as possible it is internally representative of this diversity.
- MDPAG seeks to empower disabled people and their groups to advocate in their own interests, where necessary taking campaigning action in its own name.
- MDPAG aspires to both follow and develop best practice in all its work, working collaboratively with other agencies and with key professionals.
- MDPAG supports the removal of barriers relating to all equality and diversity and human rights issues in its work and activities.
MDPAG recognises that, with its limited resources, it will need to prioritise a number of specific areas of work. During the period 2019 – 2022, MDPAG aims to impact on access issues by:
- Developing and maintaining a regional and national profile in influencing policy and practice.
- Developing project work across Greater Manchester and the North West.
- Helping to establish Manchester as a flagship city for access.
- Developing a model of working at neighbourhood level, city wide level and at regional level.
- Developing a sustainable mixture of funding types and sources.
Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group achieves our aims by:
- Holding regular meetings of members and consulting regularly with disabled people and their organisations, from all communities, to gather up to date information about the barriers they are experiencing.
- Training and supporting disabled people to be aware of their rights and responsibilities.
- Providing a sign posting service to disabled people and their supporters to ensure that they are able to access services that exist to improve access in their day to day lives.
- Conducting access audits and surveys and providing professional consultancy for statutory, commercial and voluntary sector organisations, to raise awareness of the range of disabling barriers and how to remove them.
- Raising awareness about the disabling barriers through publicity, publications, education and training, projects and other relevant methods.
- Conducting research to identify, develop and promote good practice in identifying and removing the disabling barriers.
- Working closely with the voluntary sector and with public sector organisations in Greater Manchester and elsewhere, including liaising on a range of equality and diversity and human rights issues.
- Researching and working closely with other people and organisations, locally, regionally and nationally to support the use of and development of best practice access standards.
- Providing responses on access related issues to local, regional and national consultations relating to policies, legislation and guidance, and on buildings, the environment, transport, information, services, education and events.
- Promoting and providing information in alternative formats for disabled people.
- Conducting regular formal and informal disability action and access related training and awareness raising sessions for disabled people and for other organisations.
- Providing information, advice and guidance on access related issues by telephone, professional consultancy and other appropriate means to individuals, private, public and voluntary sector organisations.
- Encouraging regular continuing professional development for members, trustees, staff and other individuals and organisations on access related issues.
- Promoting public support and respect for disabled people’s issues, including advocacy and campaigning on access issues where appropriate.