The government has announced the 10 disabled members of its new, smaller network of disability equality advisers.
Equality 2025 was set up in 2006 to advise the government on achieving equality for disabled people by 2025.
But the government decided last year to cut its membership of more than 20 disabled people and turn it instead into a “high-level advisory group”.
The plans caused some concern among disabled activists, who also called for the body to be given a higher profile and “more clout”.
Equality 2025 members have defended their work and say they cannot publicise the vital advice they give to government departments on disability equality because of the need for confidentiality.
Jonathan Shaw, the minister for disabled people, announced the reappointment of five Equality 2025 members, as well as the chair, Rowen Jade, a respected disability equality consultant, campaigner and writer.
The other members reappointed are: Haji Saghir Alam, a human rights and diversity expert and member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) disability committee; Nick Danagher, a consultant, trustee of the Independent Living Fund and director of Surrey Coalition of Disabled People; Miro Griffiths, a student at Liverpool University and former chair of Whizz-Kidz’s children’s board; Andy Rickell, chief executive of The Vassall Centre Trust and former chief executive of the British Council of Disabled People; and Fiona Wallace, chair of People First Mid Lothian, who has been involved in the Scottish self-advocacy movement since the late 1980s.
The four new members of the body are: Diane Mulligan, another member of the EHRC’s disability committee and social inclusion and disability advisor at Sightsavers International; Dr Rachel Perkins, a clinical psychologist and author of a well-received review for the government on helping people with mental health conditions into work; Tracey Proudlock, a human resources and recruitment expert who runs her own disability and access consultancy; and Colin Young, a former researcher with Capability Scotland with experience of advocating for young people.
All 10 will begin their three-year terms on 1 April.
Jade said: “I am looking forward to working with all of the Equality 2025 members at a time when so many government proposals and decisions are having such a significant impact on disabled people.”
Shaw said the 10 members would “bring a mix of experience, skills and enthusiasm to the job”.
25 March 2010