Our staff regularly feedback to the team on their work, and this includes the knowledge and understanding they have gained from the people they support. We have also carried out research on public perceptions of disability and the language surrounding it. Through this information-sharing we have identified several issues.
Identifying as disabled
One of these is the negative perceptions of disability and how these can manifest in different communities, affecting whether people identify as disabled or not and impacting on their access to services.
Language of disability
Another – interlinked – challenge relates to the language around disability and the connotations that different words can have, which may affect a person’s willingness to engage with services e.g., some communities which do not discuss disability, may however be open to discussing disadvantage instead.
At Inclusion Barnet, we recognise that these are multi-faceted concepts and that these impact on our work as an organisation using language of the Social Model of Disability. The next step is to continue our team discussions and expand these with a range of communities who face barriers to accessing services. We hope that through these conversations, we can identify the most appropriate courses of action and plan how we might put these in place.