New Chair announced for Bristol’s Disability Equality Commission

New Chair announced for Bristol’s Disability Equality Commission

The inequalities faced by Disabled people in Bristol are to be investigated over coming months by Bristol’s new Disability Equality Commission led by the newly appointed Chair, Alun Davies.

13 August 2021

Alun, who was born in Wales, has lived in Bristol for 30 years and has for all that time been a passionate champion for equal rights and opportunities for all Disabled people.

Alun lost his sight in 1978 and identified as a Disabled person according to the Social Model of Disability from 1986.The Social Model of Disability states that people with a physical impairment, sensory impairment, neurodiversity, learning difficulty or mental health issue are not "disabled" by their impairments but by the cultural, economic, physical, political, and social structures of society.

In his new role Alun will now lead the establishment, development, and delivery of the new city commission focusing on disability. The commission’s aims include making a difference to the lives of Disabled people in Bristol by embedding disability equality in policy and practice across the whole city.

Alun said: “I am honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to chair Bristol’s Disability Equality Commission. My vision is that the commission will bring together Disabled people from all backgrounds and impairments working together in collaboration and partnership to make Bristol a more equal place for Disabled people to live, with more choice and control.

“We will do this by always listening and talking to Disabled people making sure that in our work we are reflecting what Disabled people tell us are their issues and priorities. “Nothing about us without us” will become real in this city.”

“The first stage is to recruit Disabled people to become commissioners. There will be an open recruitment process over the autumn with the membership announced before Christmas. But the work starts now. I will start meeting immediately with Disabled peoples organisations and all the key movers and shakers in the city to identify straight away the key strategic priorities that we can be working on. This will include helping to shape the response to the recent report into the treatment of people with autism and learning difficulties in the city where there must be action.”

Deputy Mayor Asher Craig, Chair of the Disability Equality Commission Steering Group said: “We want to build a more inclusive city to improve the lives and opportunities of all Disabled people. The commission is being set up because we recognise the inequalities Disabled people can face in terms of transport, employment, housing, and social care support.

“The commission will talk and listen to Disabled people across the city in a whole range of different ways. It will especially work to gather the views of Disabled people who experience particular disadvantage or are from different and diverse communities. All of the feedback will contribute to our development of a Disability Equality strategy which will influence future decisions on policies, services and resources of the Mayor and the One City boards.”

Alun has served on many boards in Bristol over recent years including the West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (Wecil), Open Up Music, Headway Bristol, the Vassall Centre, and also at the national body HealthWatch. He also served as chair of the Disability Committee of the Equalities and human rights committee and was awarded a MBE for services to Disabled people.

More information about the Disability Equality Commission can be found on the Bristol City Council website.

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