Bristol appoints disability equality commissioners to tackle inequality

Bristol appoints disability equality commissioners to tackle inequality

Disabled people appointed for Bristol’s first Disability Equality Commission will start work to encourage disability equality in every part of the city.

17 February 2022

The 11 commissioners will join the recently appointed commission chair, Alun Davies, to address inequalities and injustice faced by Disabled people.

The Disability Equality Commission will work with Disabled people and organisations and city partners to help improve the lives and opportunities for those living in the city.

Following a rigorous and open recruitment process, the successful 11 commissioners started their four-year term this month (February).

They all self-identify as Disabled people and were appointed to the commissioner role either as an individual or to represent a Disabled people’s organisation. It is the organisation as a whole that has been appointed so the representative may change, as long as they are a Disabled person.

Councillor Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Children Services, Education and Equalities, said: “Congratulations to our new disability equality commissioners. This is an exciting time and the commissioners will play an integral role in talking to people to help us understand what our strategic priorities need to be to ensure equality for Disabled people in Bristol.

“Our aim, and the commission’s purpose, is to make Bristol a city Disabled people will be proud to live in.”

The commission will be chaired by Alun Davies who was appointed in September 2021. Alun has 40 years of experience as a national and local activist for equal rights and opportunities for Disabled people.

Alun, who has a visual impairment, added: “I could not be more pleased with the team of commissioners who have been appointed. Individually and collectively they bring with them an incredible range of expertise, knowledge and skills. We all accept that our ambition for Bristol is a huge challenge and we will have to be realistic about what we can achieve and when. With this group of people, however, I am convinced that we can make significant progress to our goal in the first four years.”

“Our first task is to go out and listen to Disabled people about their experiences and priorities. We will do this over the spring and early summer. In the autumn we will produce an action plan based on what we have been told which will clearly set out what we want to do in the first four years.”

The commissioners are:

Organisation members:

  • Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People 
  • Bristol Disability Equality Forum 
  • West of England Centre for Inclusive Living 
  • Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living 

Individual members:

  • Beth Richards 
  • Gordon Richardson 
  • Leah Martindale 
  • Lynn Parfitt  
  • Marie Mighty 
  • Megan Belcher
  • Phil Gingell

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