Disability Wales (DW) is the national association of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) striving to achieve the rights and equality of disabled people in Wales.
DW promotes the adoption and implementation of the Social Model of Disability, which identifies that it is environmental, organisational, and attitudinal barriers that disabled people face and prevent their full participation in society not their medical conditions or impairments.
DW’s drive for a more inclusive Wales continues, with these barriers preventing us from achieving a more equal society. DW is committed to leading by example and ensuring that all disabled people’s rights are respected. At the heart of this commitment, is DW’s belief in the right to the self-determination of disabled people. This is best encapsulated in one of the slogans of the disabled people’s movement – “Nothing about us without us”. This is a sentiment which runs throughout the Equal Power Equal Voice programme.
Disabled people continue to face barriers to education with just one fifth of those with additional learning needs achieving 5 GCSE (A*-C) compared with two thirds of non-disabled people (EHRC,2018). The Employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people is 32% (Locked Out Report, 2021) than non-disabled people. Coupled with the poor support provided by the welfare system, means that 40% of disabled people in Wales live in Poverty (Joseph Roundtree Foundation, 2018). Disabled people are also denied the right to achieve independent living due to the slow pace of reform of the health and social care systems. Disabled people face challenges in housing, transport and accessing services (EHRC,2018). On the whole, disabled people feel their rights are not respected, and few are optimistic that this situation will improve (Disability Wales 2021)
Shaun Bendle (he/him)Disability Wales Mentoring Project Officer
Shaun is the mentoring project officer for Disability Wales. Shaun gained Undergraduate and Masters degrees from Swansea University. He works part time for disability Wales while completing his PhD at Cardiff University.