Disabled people taking a stand against hate crime

A Leeds-based charity will be discussing practical ways of preventing hate crime against disabled people at its conference on Thursday 6 December.

CHANGE, based at Shine Business Centre in Harehills, is a leading international human rights organisation led by disabled people. The ‘Living our Lives in Safety’ conference will present the findings of CHANGE’s three-year project on hate crime, funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

For over 15 years, CHANGE has employed people with learning disabilities to work alongside people who do not have learning disabilities and earn a living wage on a peer-to-peer basis. Disabled people face discrimination in all aspects of life and CHANGE campaigns on issues that affect their quality of life. CHANGE staff work collaboratively on the writing, illustrating and production of its range of publications, pictures and videos which are used in the NHS, local authorities and education settings to explain healthcare and lifestyle topics to people with learning disabilities in easy-to-understand language with explanatory illustrations.

Founder and Director of CHANGE, Philipa Bragman, says: “Living lives in safety is a basic right which is not always afforded to disabled people, but together we can challenge hate crime and bring about positive changes. Our conference will show what we have learned during this three-year EHRC project and what needs to happen to move things forward; everyone who wants to do something about hate crime should join us on 6 December.”

The conference runs from 9.30 am – 4.00pm and includes presentations and workshops about:

  • Breaking down barriers to inclusion so disabled people can stop discrimination and seek justice
  • Raising awareness and understanding of hate crime in the wider community, amongst disabled people and all service providers
  • Improving reporting opportunities and reducing the harm caused by hate crime through better support for victims.

Speakers at the conference include Stephen Brookes MBE, a leading activist in the fight against disability hate crime. Stephen is a nationally-recognised researcher and speaker on disability, equality and diversity issues and the creator and co-ordinator of the Disability Hate Crime Network. Representatives from the Blackpool Centre for Independent Living will talk about how their disability hate crime reporting service is achieving real success. Also, CHANGE’s very own ‘Power Changers’ team will be central to the delivery of the presentations at the conference.

CHANGE recently won the prestigious Patient Information Resource of the Year Award from the British Medical Association (BMA) for its Accessible Cancer Book series. BMA Head Librarian, Jacky Berry, says: “The [CHANGE] resource is clearly laid out, consistent, with easy to understand information about all aspects of cancer from screening, symptoms and staying healthy to palliative care, end of life and bereavement. This series is a well needed and excellently written resource.”

If you would like to attend the ‘Living Our Lives in Safety’ conference at Shine Business Centre on Thursday 6 December, please contact CHANGE on 0113 388 0011 or email laura@change-people.co.uk

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