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The Physical Disability Forum

The voice of disabled people across Kent

 

 

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At Healthwatch we hear from people with physical disabilities all the time. We get calls from people needing to learn about what services and support are available to them, but we also hear from people who want to get involved in developing services for people with physical disabilities for the future.


In Kent, we already had platforms for older people and people with mental health or learning disabilities to raise their voice, but there was nothing for people with a physical disability.

In 2016, we teamed up with the Centre for Independent Living Kent (CILK) to develop a Kent-wide Forum for people with physical disabilities.


Over 100 organisations and individuals got involved with our launch event and we are proud that people with physical disabilities now have an emerging voice for the development and improvement of services. We currently have over 200 individual and organisational members of the Forum.

What we do

We are the voice of disabled people across the county, representing their views to decision makers.
 
The Forum works with and influences Councils, Providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups across Kent to ensure that services for disabled people are effectively shaped and scrutinised by the people who actually use them.  We represent the views of Forum members at a national level in Parliament.
 
Our membership is comprised of disabled people, their families, their carers and the organisations which represent them.
 
We are working on five key objectives, chosen by Forum members:
• Issues that prevent people with a disability being involved for example physical barriers and lack of accessible buildings
• Information, advice and guidance that is offered to people
• Assessment and support planning and the need for person-centred approaches
• Benefits that so many disabled people rely on including Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independent Payments (PIPs) and Universal Credit
• The importance of enabling disabled people to live independently and the need for appropriate housing

 

Our work

The Forum meets twice a year for a full day, and six-weekly to discuss single topic issues based on our objectives. Our work is also supported by occasional break-out groups made up of volunteer members who are able to devote a little more time to specific work and consultations. 

What you’ll get

The Forum provides an opportunity for networking and direct access to decision makers. We regularly contact our members to update them on our work, invite them to engage with us, and signpost them to useful events and information.


Healthwatch Kent has committed, with the financial support from our parent company Engaging Kent, to fund the Physical Disability Forum until March 2019. Discussions are underway about future funding. 


For more information or to get involved, please email Anna at Anna@healthwatchkent.co.uk or call her on 07525 861 637.

Want to join the online Physical Disability Forum Facebook Group too? Click this link https://www.facebook.com/groups/kentpdforum/. If you want more information on the Facebook group see the document below.

Downloads

PDF Facebook Group Guidelines

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