In September, 2017 Camden Disability Action was the organisation chosen, with its voluntary sector partners, to run the new Centre for Independent Living that is being built at this very moment at Greenwood Place.
What is CDA? What will the Centre for Independent Living do?
In many ways, these two questions are the same. CDA is a disabled people’s user led organisation. This means that it is run and controlled by disabled people, unlike many other voluntary sector organisations in Camden. Not only does it seek to provide a voice for all disabled people in Camden, its purpose is to enhance the independence of all its members and those who it works with. This is also the purpose of the Centre for Independent Living as well.
The Centre for Independent Living in Camden will provide the borough’s disabled people with a major opportunity to increase their choice and control over the services that are run by organisations that support them. More than that, it can become a major arena for inclusion, employment and innovation where disabled people create new and better services and opportunities together. Yet, this can only happen if there is a step change in the way disabled people and their families think about themselves and work together.
CDA and the Centre for Independent Living are pan-disability vehicles. To explain what I mean, we, at CDA, know that all disabled people in Camden share the same concerns regardless whether they are, for example, from the d/Deaf community, have learning disabilities or are the parents of people with learning disabilities, or have mental health issues. We all want good, reliable and safe services to support us and our families. We all want those services to enhance our quality of life and match our ambitions. Finally, we want to be treated like the full citizens of Camden we really are, and be listened to and to be taken seriously at all times. The Centre for Independent Living’s goal, as a pan-disability vehicle, is to give all disabled people in Camden a stake in achieving these ambitions.
That CDA shares these ambitions as well makes it best placed to ensure that the Centre for Independent Living is successful and achieves this goal.
Chair of Camden Disability Action