What we do

By conducting research, presenting papers, influencing government and raising awareness the GDA aims to protect the rights of disabled people. This frees up our member charities to focus on their core services whilst helping play a collective part in influencing wider change to social policy through the GDA.

How we do this

With Carol Le Page joining the GDA in 2020 we have been able to split the GDAs work between social policy, undertaken by Carol and partnerships, led by Karen Blanchford. We use our research and extensive experience in these areas as follows:

Carol Le Page, Social Policy Director, GDA

Social policy – influencing government policy and practical changes compliant with the United Nations Convention for Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

  • Research: work globally to research Human Rights, Disability and best practice
  • Protect: collaborating with others to combat stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices
  • Reform: using our expertise to influence Government policy and practice to promote equality of opportunity for all.

Karen Blanchford, Partnership Director, GDA

Partnerships – a collective voice for change under the brands of We All Matter, Eh? and Access for All

  • Empower: to empower our members to speak for themselves, whether as individuals or as groups
  • Promote: raise awareness and change attitudes around disability and inclusion through our campaigns and members voice
  • Influence: share our expertise through presentations, workshops, training in conjunction with our partners

In addition to the work on social policy and partnerships above Karen and Carol also assist the Board with governance and financial matters to ensure the effective and efficient running of the organisation.

Short Term Work 2021

Social Policy Director

In 2021 the Social Policy Director will campaign for and provide expertise to add drive and direction to the work streams of the States Disability & Inclusion Strategy, with specific focus on the formation of the Equality Body.

She will:

  • Campaign to ensure that Disability is prioritised within the work plan of the States of Guernsey, which dictates financial and resource priorities to each project.
  • Develop the ‘Horizon Scanning Team’ to represent their areas of expertise regarding disability and social policy and practical policy in the States and the third sector.
  • Support the Committee of Employment Social Security (ESS) to implement the workstreams of the Disability and Inclusion strategy
  • Set out the monitor tool for the progressive realisation of the UNCRPD
  • Further research areas affecting social, environmental and economic policy proposed by the States and influence these in relation to UNCRPD, Human Rights and diversity.

Partnership Director

In 2021 the Partnership Director will

  • Provide the research and expertise to influence the community around Human Rights, Discrimination, Disability confidence and access.
  • Use the We All Matter Eh! brand to assist members’ voices to be heard in relation to topics core to their equality of opportunity.
  • Use the Access for All brand to work in partnership with the states to support organisations in their understanding of access in it’s widest form (Physical, Digital, Services and Activities) and with specific reference to Reasonable Adjustment
  • Build a training and development programme to showcase the work of the GDA and its members and the support we can provide to the community in preparation for the discrimination legislation
  • Further develop our relationships with our partners in the community

The Partnership Director and Social Policy Director will both work on:

  • Update our resources (digital content, materials, research) to reflect our wide-ranging expertise in supporting all areas of the Bailiwick in this transition period
  • Build sustainability for this period so we can focus on the delivery of the strategy and work plans.
  • Jointly we will Strengthen and diversify the GDA executive committee and develop team expertise to deliver on these goals
  • Continue to raise awareness of important UN international days:
    • Human Rights – 10th March
    • International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPwD) – 3rd December

Medium Term Work 2022 to 2025

The Social Policy Director will progress work in the following areas:

  • Intersectionality – to progress the work on the remaining grounds not covered on phase 1 of the discrimination legislation
  • Education – implementing the results of the SEND review (Special Educational Needs and Disability) and ensuring actions are inclusive for all learners
  • Health – progressing work on the NICE Technical Assessments (TAs)
  • Tribunal – monitor cases going to tribunal and mediation to ensure that improvements are captured and acted on
  • Built environment – ensure that policies and guidance are developed to prepare for legislative changes.

The Partnership Director will progress work in the following areas:

  • Access – Develop and provide the access training
  • Diversity – provide opportunities and empowerment for people with impairments
  • Discrimination – Ensuring up-to-date information is available for anyone wishing to take a case to the Tribunal, mediation or escalation of complaints
  • Small Businesses – Meetings with businesses addressing concerns over implementation of legislation
  • Charities and Not for Profit Organisations – Provide expert advice and assistance and easy to access information on the effects of the new legislation to these organisations.

Long Term Work 2026 and Beyond

  • We will continue to campaign for, and advise on, the progressive realisation of the UNCRPD
  • We will empower disabled islanders to have their voice heard, to represent themselves, whether as individuals or as part of a group.