Empowerment in Action: “Listen to us if you want to get it right.”

'Empowerment In Action' illustration by Jenny Speirs400+ GDA members meet Council Leaders, ahead of International Day of Disabled People

Press Release from Glasgow Disability Alliance on today’s Conference and Learning Festival:

“Wednesday 29th Nov. 10am – 12.30pm Hilton Doubletree, Cambridge St.

“This morning, ahead of International Day of Disabled People, Council Leader Susan Aitken, and Depute Leader David McDonald will meet with over 400 disabled Glasweigians, to hear first-hand how austerity and inequality affect disabled people in our city, and to share ideas for a Fairer, more Accessible Glasgow.”

“With ‘Inclusive Growth’ set as Glasgow’s overarching priority, today’s conference, organized by Glasgow Disability Alliance, underlines how disabled people’s inclusion will be crucial to the city’s success.”

““Disabled people make up nearly a quarter of Glasgow’s population,” says GDA founding member Susan McGinlay. “And we live at the sharp end of some of the most pressing issues facing Scotland today: poverty, social isolation, and a huge crisis in social care funding – these are just 3 of today’s key issues in which disabled people are experts, because we live the impacts day to day. We know what works and what needs to change – they’ll save thousands of pounds if they listen to us!”

“Through Q&As and Roundtable discussions, GDA members will today revisit their 5 Manifesto asks launched earlier this year, and discuss with Council leaders their many ideas for action to tackle the exclusion and inequality disabled Glasweigians face. Their Manifesto emphasizes the need to include disabled people in City Deal planning, tackling poverty, and reviewing Social Care funding, if Glasgow’s ‘Inclusive Growth’ is to be realized.”

“Taking office earlier this year, Cllr Susan Aitken called for a “Revolution in community empowerment” and committed to “helping communities grow capacity and resilience to make confident decisions” with more say over council spending.”

“Run by and for disabled people, GDA arranges taxis, Personal Assistants, and accessible information and equipment, to bring disabled people together through programmes of learning and capacity building, including today’s Annual Conference and Learning Festival – the biggest yearly gathering of disabled people in Scotland, if not the UK. The continuous aim is empowering disabled people to come together, support one another, have their voices heard and collectively influence those who have the power to change things. As one member, Ryan, describes: “That is empowerment in action! We need access and support, to remove the barriers, so we can participate. Otherwise we are stuck in the house, staring at four walls, with no voice and no hope.”

“GDA’s Chief Executive Tressa Burke said “We warmly welcome this chance to demonstrate what disabled people can achieve as an empowered community of interest, when support and investment is there to build confidence and capacity. We look forward to working ever more closely with Glasgow’s new administration, and the Council as a whole, sharing our expertise and collaborating to dismantle the many barriers that hold disabled people back from full and equal participation in Glasgow.””

“The conference will be followed, as it is every year, by a celebration of the skills and learning shared by GDA members throughout the year, as 400 members attend a variety of learning workshops throughout the afternoon, as well as the launch of GDA’s Annual Impact Report and new short film ‘Empowerment in Action’ – watch online here! “

For more info Contact
Tressa Burke
CEO Glasgow Disability Alliance
07970 472 341
Marianne Scobie,
Depute CEO Glasgow Disability Alliance
07909 160 788