Inclusion Barnet is a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPO), based in Barnet, North-West London.

Our organisation

This means that all of our Trustees and most of our staff have lived experience of disability.  We are pan-impairment, so disability can include mental health issues and/or long-term conditions. This experience gives us a deep understanding of how society can be made more equal and inclusive. 

Learning to use lived experience for social change is a skill. We have become experts in harnessing lived experience of our staff, members, volunteers, and the people who use our services. We use this understanding to design and deliver higher quality, more person-centred services. This benefits both disabled people and society more widely. We also support other organisations to do the same. 

Every day, disabled people everywhere overcome barriers in order to participate in society and to access many things that non-disabled people take for granted. The Social Model of Disability recognises this inequality and the need for change. The Social Model of Disability is at the heart of everything we do. 

Many members of our team are part of alliances, panels and boards which represent the communities we work with, such as the  Disability Benefits Consortium and the Equalities Network. We also form partnerships to deliver services and are a proud partner in the Barnet Together Alliance with the Young Barnet Foundation, Volunteering Barnet, and Barnet Council.  

Who we are 

  • We are a DDPO, which is a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation. To be a DDPO, an organisation must be run by and for disabled people. At least 75% of its board members and 50% of its paid staff must represent D/deaf and disabled people. At Inclusion Barnet, 100%* of our board of trustees and over 85%* of our staff have lived experience of disability. 
  • Disability includes long-term conditions and/or mental health issues. Using your own experience to support others is often called having ‘lived experience’ and at Inclusion Barnet we are skilled in using our lived experience of disability to help others and encourage social change.  
  • With years of training and work in relevant fields, we are all highly experienced in running services and campaigns in the VCSE sector, especially those affecting disabled people. We also deliver projects with the wider community (such as co-running two libraries) and other community-run organisations, sharing our skills and learning from theirs. 
  • We work to influence social change and policies at local and national levels. We encourage individuals, organisations, and change-makers to create or adapt to practices which promote inclusion. 

*As of June 2023. 

Our Services

Information & resources

Read our inclusion and accessibility tips and best practice

Support & Advice

Our one-to-one support for disabled people in Barnet

Community services

Advice and practical support for community organisations

Research & campaigns

Our insightful research shedding light on disability inequality

Why lived experience is crucial

  • Along with many years of practice in community work, we understand the barriers and stigma that disabled people face, because most of us have experienced them ourselves.  
  • We use our lived experience of disability to design and deliver higher quality, more person-centred services. This benefits both disabled people and society more widely. We also support other organisations to do the same. 
  • Our lived experience of disability also makes us ideally placed to promote inclusion and accessible services for the communities we live and work in, and to campaign for a society in which disabled and non-disabled people can contribute equally. 
  • We empower others with lived experience of disability to create social change as well, through projects such as User Voice panels, volunteering opportunities with Inclusion Barnet, and by supporting other organisations to promote equality and inclusion. 
Our Peer Support Work

How we use lived experience

We use our lived experience of disability to work towards equality in society.

We do this using the following approaches:

Peer-led support

We use our own experiences of inequality to create services which meet the needs of disabled people.  

Our Peer Support Work

User-led work

We support disabled people to raise awareness of the barriers they face and how everyone in society can work together to remove these obstacles.  

Our User Voice Work

Empowerment

By supporting disabled people to use their voice in user-led services, our work empowers them to contribute equally to society. This includes a membership scheme for disabled people, where members can access information and share their views on disability rights. 

Become a member of Inclusion Barnet

Community development 

We lead by example, as a DDPO running community services, supporting local community organisations, and campaigning for disability rights. Our work demonstrates that disabled people can be highly effective leaders in the workplace, bringing invaluable skills and insight.  Our projects also bring different sectors in society together, enabling everyone to experience the benefits of inclusion. 

How we support Community Organisations

Thought-leadership

Our many years of experience in the field, plus our own lived experiences of disability, have made us experts in identifying where barriers exist for disabled people and how these can be removed.  

We have advised many organisations and businesses on the best ways to tackle inequality, including through our consultancy, Inclusion Unlimited. 

Our team at Inclusion Barnet

Why we use the Social Model of Disability

At Inclusion Barnet, we follow the social model of disability as the foundation of our work. This means we use language that aligns with this approach, like saying ‘disabled people’ instead of ‘people with disabilities’.

For more about the social model and how we apply it in the way we work at Inclusion Barnet please visit our Social Model of Disability page below.

The Social Model of Disability

Our vision and mission

Our vision

We believe in a world where disabled people live their lives free from barriers, stigma, and poverty. 

Our mission

Our mission is to harness the skills gained from our lived experiences of disability, and to use these to create more accessible services and communities. 

Our priorities

For the period 2021-25, we have four strategic objectives at Inclusion Barnet.  

We are working towards a world in which disabled people, in Barnet and beyond: 

  1. can live their lives free of stigma and poverty, 
  2. have their health inequalities addressed, with full regard to intersectionality* and how it impacts on people’s life chances, 
  3. have access to person-centred services, which address their individual needs and the systemic barriers they are facing,
  4. can take a leadership role in creating a thriving and socially just society. 

*How aspects of a person’s identity such as class, race, gender, sexuality, or socio-economic status are often interlinked, increasing the levels of inequality they may face. 

Inclusion Barnet is supported by

National Lottery Community Fund logo
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Trust for London logo
north central integrated care system logo
The London Legal Support Trust logo
Barnet london borough Barnet council logo

We are an accredited Living Wage Employer

Our commitment to paying the Living Wage

As a responsible employer and an organisation that cares about treating our employees fairly, we pay our staff the real Living Wage. We proudly show our public commitment to this by displaying the accredited Living Wage Employer Mark on our materials.

There are more than 13, 000 UK employers who, like us, voluntarily pay above the Government minimum. This wage ensures that our staff earn enough to cover their basic living expenses and that annual pay increases are linked to the cost of living.

As part of our commitment to paying the real Living Wage, we also ensure that we:

  • pay the living wage to any contractors we work with.
  • only promote job postings that show specified salaries.
  • only endorse opportunities offered by other organisations or public bodies, such as participating in focus groups, committees, or attending public feedback meetings, where fair compensation aligned with the real Living Wage is offered.

For more information about the Living Wage accreditation please visit the Living Wage Foundation website

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