Disability engagement service launches in Somerset
- Credit: Somerset County Council
A new service which aims to make it easier for people with disabilities in Somerset to make their voices heard has launched this month.
The Somerset Disability Engagement Service, run by AJM Healthcare, will work with Somerset County Council to deliver its engagement and consultation with disabled people throughout the county for the next two years.
The Somerset authority and partners, including Sedgemoor and Mendip District councils, South Somerset District Council and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, will provide opportunities to better understand the needs and concerns of disabled communities in order to improve services to them.
Through the new service, AJM Healthcare will build relationships with existing disability groups in the area to help create a network, empowering people with disabilities to have a say on a wide range of issues.
New online channels including social media will act as key forums for people to swap information and give their views.
The service will also work with disabled people to make sure local buildings and services are accessible, with training provided for businesses to help improve accessibility for everyone in Somerset.
Somerset County Council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Clare Paul, said: “It’s really important we involve more disabled people in decisions which affect their daily lives.
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“This partnership will make a huge difference in making sure we actively engage with all people to create more effective and inclusive services.”
Statistics show that almost 100,000 people in Somerset have a long-term condition or disability which limits their day-to-day activities and the county council says there are many support groups for disabled people in the area covering a wide spectrum of different types of disabilities.
Partnership and engagement officer at AJM Healthcare, Becky O'Donovan, said: "We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to use innovative ways to engage disabled people in Somerset and we look forward to working in partnership with local organisations to improve accessibility across the county."
For those interested in getting involved, information about the new Somerset Disability Engagement Service can be found by logging on to www.somerset.disabilityengagement.services