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Joe’s Soapbox

author icon author icon 07/11/2022 author icon Joe's Soapbox

Disability Wales celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

I was honored to attend their celebratory meal on the evening of Tuesday 18th of October and their Conference and Annual General Meeting on Wednesday’s the 19th October.

At the meal on the 18th we heard from many speakers including:

  • Disability Wales Chair, Willow Holloway.
  • Chief Executive of Disability Wales, Rhian Davies.
  • Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt.
  • Chief Executive of the WCVA, Ruth Marks.
  • Rosie Moriarty-Simmonds, High Sheriff of South Glamorgan

Mark Isherwood MS for ‘Flintshire’ and strong supporter of disabled rights was at the meal on the 18th.

First Minister Mark Drakeford was a keynote speaker on the 19th.

Both events were the first public events held by Disability Wales since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic.

It was great that Disabled Peoples Organizations (DPO’s) could come together and share in this historic moment.

All Wales People First are a DPO and we are a member of Disability Wales.

This follows our pledge in the 2019-2023 MIRROR Strategy (Business Plan) to work more with people of other disabilities.

Disability Wales was originally known as ‘Wales Council for the Disabled’ and was different to the way it is now.

The organisation decided it wanted to move from a ‘doing to’ to a ‘disabled people do for themselves’ approach.

They changed their name to Disability Wales in 2003.

A big part of changing how they did things was to embed the Social Model of Disability into their work.

The Social Model of Disability says that it is society that disables us not our impairments.

The Social Model says that If Society removes the barriers which prevent people with disabilities from being part of society, then people are no longer disabled.

Disability Wales have been the most important organisation in persuading the Welsh Government to adopt the Social Model of Disability.

All Wales People First have some cultural differences to Disability Wales.

That means we do some things differently.

But both organizations have the same aims.

And that is to remove the barriers which stop people with disabilities from taking their place in Welsh Society.

We will continue to work with Disability Wales and other DPO’s to try to reduce the inequalities for disabled in Wales.

I would like to congratulate Disability Wales on the amazing achievement of their fiftieth anniversary.

Here’s to the next fifty years.

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