Thursday, 12 July 2012

Please Let Us Tick A Box For You!

Has your funder asked you to work with a User Led Organisation? Has central government given you targets which include consulting the views of disabled people? Has your boss asked you to go talk to "that disability place"?....If so, please use us -  Seriously! We only set our organisations up for your cause!

Across the country I'm constantly reminded that DPULO's and CIL's are pulled in many directions by statutory, commercial and peer voluntary agencies too. However, as CEO of two CIL's and having been asked to sit on numerous committees, steering groups, consultation panels (call them what you may), I believe it is time to review the purpose of such requests.

Are we asked for our input because our views are so valuable? The cynic in me says No! 

If you are asked of such requests, just for a moment, cast your mind back to the last or perhaps current committee where your presence was felt necessary....Was your involvement as a Disabled Peoples Representative truly acknowledged? Were your views actually discussed? Not only did they accept your thoughts on the subject matter but did they implement them into a plan? Are simple matters deferred to the next meeting then the meeting after that?....Or my favourite :- Was a plan tabled, you and your organisation disagreed and commented on it but then it was nevertheless rubber stamped by the powers that be? Oh yes, I think so!

Some of you may be paid members of staff, some will be volunteers. However regardless of your status within your ULO, your time and experience is invaluable and more importantly, irreplaceable. Remember, they need you more than you think you need them.

My advice is to set a time table, log your thoughts on a separate document, measure whether there has been adequate progress on the subject matter and feel free to leave when it becomes naturally clear that your input has merely ticked a box!!

Agree?       Don't Agree?        Like ticking boxes?

Amo Raju

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