An evaluation of four development projects that improve support for black disabled people. This report is based on a study of the four development projects for black disabled people, funded under the Making Change Happen programme. Each project faced specific challenges and this report illustrates how they were overcome. The study demonstrated the importance of black history and heritage, faith and strong cultural traditions to many of the people in the projects and showed the value of creating spaces to share memories and explore personal identities in changing individual lives. It also highlighted the significance of handing over decision making to the disabled people directly involved and the benefits of using the arts and information technology. The report draws out lessons that other organisations that work with, and for, black disabled people can use.
It identifies clear messages for funders about the effects of short term project funding, especially on voluntary organisations and highlights areas for further research, such as how BME organisations are funded and how statutory bodies take on issues highlighted by the Race Relations Amendment Act, Disability Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Act. It will be of interest to Social Services Directors; managers of services for people with learning disabilities; mental health trusts; learning disability partnership boards; funders (independent, charitable, statutory); voluntary sector groups concerned with ethnicity and/or disability; disability organisations; equalities bodies; Department of Health; social work training organisations; researchers and others interested in disability, service user involvement or refugees and new migrants.
Becca Singh is a freelance social researcher, consultant and evaluator, specialising in equality, diversity and user involvement. Previous projects include the access audit of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and an assessment of race equality for British Quakers. She has worked as Research Manager for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and various voluntary organisations on equality projects.