Radian hosted their second Disability Conference to discuss the organisation’s provision of services for disabled and vulnerable residents, people to whom they provide care to and their family members. The conference provided an opportunity for everyone involved to engage with Radian and identify ways to improve services.
The event was organised after the success of Radian’s 2012 Disability Conference, which along with the Regional Disability Forums was shortlisted for the Tenant Participation Advisory Service 2013 Awards for Excellence in Equality & Diversity.
The guest speaker was Geoff Holt MBE, Disability Sport Ambassador, who despite being paralysed from the neck down in an accident at the age of 18, went on to conquer the world of yachting. He has since been awarded an MBE, as well as being crowned Yachtsman of the Year by the Yachting Journalists Association in 2011. Malcolm Steven, Thames Disability Forum Champion, said: “The speech from Geoff Holt was excellent and an inspiration to us all.”
Over 50 people attended the event held in Winchester, including representatives from other housing associations. The day included workshops, discussions and speeches on the Welfare Reforms and how Radian can support and advise residents on training and job opportunities; all of which are currently having a major impact on the lives of many people.
The day also provided opportunities for members of Radian’s Regional Disability Forums to demonstrate what they had achieved during 2012/13. One of the biggest successes for the Forums was the development of Disability Awareness Lunch & Learn Sessions which were organised and delivered by Forum members and Radian Support’s ‘Have Your Say’ Panel. The sessions educated and raised awareness amongst Radian staff on the differences between learning difficulties and learning disabilities.
Helen Humphries, Community Development Officer from Radian, explained “this conference was a great opportunity for Radian to interact with our residents and those we provide care to on ways we can improve our services for them. We had a great turnout, demonstrating the importance of providing people with a chance to have their say.”
At the end of the conference, residents chose their top priorities for 2013/14, all of which will be worked on by Radian and the Regional Disability Forums. Two of the priorities identified were:
- Produce Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sheets on the Welfare Reforms
- Explore opportunities for disabled residents to have work experience within Radian
For more information on events and services provided by Radian, visit www.radian.co.uk.