Disability Steering Group Workshop


On 11 February 2013, Belfast Trust convened a workshop on the future of the Disability. 


Steering Group

The Disability Steering Group was first established in 2007 in response to the introduction of new legislative provision – known as the Disability Duties which are essentially:

  • To promote positive attitudes towards disabled people and
  • To encourage full participation of disabled people in public life

The Trust has recently developed and consulted on its second Disability Action Plan – which is a framework outlining what the Trust will do to fulfil these statutory requirements in terms of how we provide our services, the way we produce our information and the way we employ our staff.

Given that the group is now in its 6th year it was agreed that the disability infrastructure could be further enhanced by:

  • Raising its profile corporately
  • Increasing representation from across the Services,
  • Reconfiguration so that working groups are established – chairs of each whom would sit on the Steering Group
  • Inviting a wider range of representative organisations from the disability sector

The steering group comprises Trust representatives, Trade Union colleagues and representatives from disability organisations and individuals with disabilities.

Chief Executive, Colm Donaghy welcomed members of the audience and highlighted the strategic importance that the Trust affords to the disability duties and how instrumental they are in regard to responsive and effective provision of health and social care. With the implementation of Transforming Your Care, where the onus is on person centred care – putting the person before the disability is fundamental.

Brenda Creaney, Director of Nursing and User Experience who chairs the Steering Group, outlined the context and other key drivers which influence the group’s workload before touching on some of the key achievements and progress to date.

Monica Wilson, Chief Executive of Disability Action, who has been a key member of the group talked about the experience so far and why partnership working has been mutually beneficial in terms of tangible outcomes, as well as improved understanding.

Workshops were then convened on 6 areas of work, which will form the basis of the newly established working groups:

  • Accessible Communication
  • Developing an exemplar facility
  • Accessible Information
  • Employment and Employability
  • Training and Legislative Reform
  • Monitoring Disability.