My Life My Way – Our Objectives
To promote social inclusion among disabled and older people, their families and those who use social care services who are socially excluded on the grounds of their social and economic position by:
1) Providing workshops, training and forums and practical support,
2) Raising public awareness of these issues affecting disabled and older people, their families and those people who use social care services both generally and in relation to social exclusion.
Before working for himself, Dr Laurence Clark ran a project for Liverpool Primary Care Trust researching how the NHS can provide Accessible Health Information and communicate effectively with disabled people. Since then he has provided training and consultancy to many public authorities across the country and supported the development of a number of disabled people’s organisations.
At school Laurence was ill-advised by the career service to go into IT; their reasoning being he could earn good money and never encounter any wheelchair access issues by working entirely from home. After spending years studying for a PhD in Bioinformatics, Laurence decided on a complete change of direction and went back to study for a M.A. in Disability Studies at the University of Leeds. A user of self-directed support since 1992, his dissertation examined the effects of community care charging policies for personal assistance users, comparing the English and Scottish charging systems.
Laurence also works as a critically-acclaimed stand-up comedian and writer. In 2004 he was a guest reporter on BBC 2’s Newsnight, presenting a short film about disability and the Abortion Act. He was also the subject of a major BBC1 documentary called “We Won’t Drop the Baby” shown in March 2012. He has written about various disability equality issues for The Guardian, The Times, BBC News Online, Community Care and Disability Now amongst other publications. Nowadays I regularly write blogs on disability rights and other issues for The Independent – see http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/laurence-clark
Vicki has worked with disabled people, their families and their organisations for over fifteen years. She began working to support young disabled people to be included in play and leisure opportunities and went on to develop peer support for disabled people from excluded communities to access direct payments and individual budgets to live independent lives. She has since supported disabled people to influence local and national policy through consultation and co-production. She has worked extensively to support people with learning disabilities through advocacy. Vicki has brought a creative, solution focussed approach to her work with a wide range of organisations to support them to engage with disabled people effectively. Her experience as a disabled woman and her work with many other disabled people bring a practical understanding to developing inclusive practices and policies, producing accessible information and training. Vicki has a BSC(Hons) in Psychology and an MA in Disability Studies from the University of Leeds
Lynn is a qualified Social Worker and has management qualifications. Lynn has worked in the public sector for over 30 years, starting her working life supporting disabled children in mainstream school and as a support worker supporting people with a learning disability relocate from Long Stay hospitals across the North of England to homes of their own with they support needed to achieve that. Lynn has always enjoyed working closely with people with learning disabilities and their families to support them to live the lives they want to live. Lynn brings her experience, knowledge and passion about people’s rights to her role as a Trustee. Most importantly Lynn has 6 children of her own and understands the issues affecting disabled children and adults and their families from a personal perspective.
Phil originally worked in the IT industry. In the early nineties he started to get involved as a family member in local and regional learning disability issues and groups; shortly after this he started working with learning disability organisation using his IT and office management skills in a self-employed capacity. Transitions and Employment has always be a passion and he has been involved with a number of projects and contracts including developing DVD information for young people going through transition and taking a regional role for the North West Joint improvement partnership to spread the word about the “Getting a Life” national programme.