The DDPO Legal Network brings Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations and lawyers together to increase awareness and understanding of current case law and legislation affecting Deaf and Disabled people.
About the Legal Network
The network explores how DDPOs can best use case law and legislation in their advice, advocacy, policy and campaigns work. The network also aims to build effective partnership working between lawyers and DDPOs, including identifying strategic issues that may benefit from legal action.
The network meets quarterly on priority themes identified by DDPOs. Past network themes have included:
- The Care Act
- Disability Hate Crime
- Inclusive education
- Using the UN Convention of rights of people with disabilities (UNCRPD)
- Using the law to challenge cuts to DDPOs.
Network members hear expert contributions from lawyers and disability rights activists, have the chance to discuss and debate and have time at the end of each meeting to network with lawyers.
Who can join this network?
You can attend the DDPO Legal network if you are an individual representing a DDPO or a wider disability sector organisation. A maximum of two representatives from each organisation can attend the quarterly meetings.
Lawyers and solicitors are also welcome to attend.
Interested in joining?
Please contact Tracey Lazard:
24 January 2018
Topic: Involving Disabled people in decision-making processes
At this meeting we discussed legal duties on local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups to engage with and involve Disabled people and our organisations in decision-making processes. We also learnt about the real example of co-production that is happening in Hammersmith and Fulham and how it could be replicated in other boroughs. We discussed how we could use existing legal duties to influence decision-making processes, improve their accessibility and how to challenge decisions and policies when those duties are not fulfilled.
Materials from the meeting
- Video recording of the meeting:
— Inclusion London (@InclusionLondon) January 24, 2018
- Advice note from Zoe Leventhal – Legal Framework for the involvement of Disabled people
- Zoe Leventhal’s presentation : Involvement Duties
- Kevin Caulfield’s presentation – Working together in Hammersmith and Fulham
- Report of the Disabled Peoples Commission in Hammersmith and Fulham
13 September 2017
Topic: Disabled people’s housing rights
At this meeting we discussed Disabled people’s right to an accessible home. We looked at:
- Local authorities’ duties to provide accommodation under the Housing Act 1996 and the Care Act 2014 and how those duties can be used to secure an accessible home.
- The legal framework related to improving the accessibility of the existing homes, including the Disabled Facilities Grants, adaptations under the Care Act, Duties under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998.
We looked at the most common problems Disabled people experience when trying to secure accommodation or adapt their existing homes and discussed whether and how we can use the law to resolve those problems.
Resources from the meeting:
- Presentation by Catherine Rayner (barrister at Seven Bedford Row and a chair of the Discrimination Law Association)
- Presentation by Diane Astin (solicitor at Deighton Pierce Glynn. Diane is also an author of Legal Action Group’s Housing Law Handbook)
- DDPO Housing and Allocations notes – 11 Sep 2017
- Transcript from the meeting
18 May 2017
Topic: The wellbeing duty in the Care Act: what it means and does it make a difference?
At our Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations Legal Network meeting on the 18th of May we discussed the wellbeing duty (section 1 of the Care Act 2014). We also spoke about the rights Disabled people have at different stages of the process and the implications of the recent case of Davey v Oxfordshire County Council. DDPOs highlighted some of the problems Disabled people experience with social care assessments, support planning, direct payments and charging and the lawyers commented on how the Care Act could be used to resolve some of those problems.
Resources from the meeting:
- Jamie Burton’s presentation (Power Point)
- Advice from Mitchell Woolf
- Video recordings of the meeting
- DDPO Legal Network Briefing: Responses to Questions on the Care Act 2014
23 February 2017
Topic: Using the Equality Act 2010 to improve access to public transport
After a historic victory for Disabled people in a recent Supreme Court case of FirstGoup Plc v Paulley meaning that bus drivers will have to take more action to make sure wheelchair users have priority over a wheelchair space, we discussed how we to build on this success and use the law to ensure all Disabled people get equal access to public transport.
3 November 2016
Disability Justice Project Launch
On 3 November we launched our Disability Justice Project which will build the capacity of DDPOs to use the law to fight for our rights. We were delighted to see so many lawyers and DDPOs at the launch.
We heard that although the laws that protect us from discrimination and guarantee our human rights are there they make too little difference to our everyday lives and it is time we took a more strategic approach and work together with lawyers to enforce those laws. Lawyers and judiciary often see barriers Disabled people face through a prism of welfare not rights and this needs to change. However we can only succeed if the agenda is driven by us and we should lead the way. The audience heard of positive examples where legal challenge helped to change local policies even though the case was lost.
You can watch all speeches from the launch at:
Disbility Justice Project launch -Presentations:
- DJP introduction presentation
- Why DDPOs and Lawyers should work together – Kevin Caulfield
- Why DDPOs and Lawyers should work together- EASY READ
Topic: Using the Human Rights Act to protect our right to independent living
- Legal Network HRA from a DDPO perspective
- Stephen Cragg QC (Monckton Chambers) – The Human Rights Act and independent living: current situation and potential for legal challenge
Download: Making use of the Human Rights Act
- Key points – DDPO Legal Network 3 Nov 2016
- Group discussion-Breaches of Human Rights & RHA
- Your Human Rights: a guide for disabled people BIHR
8 March 2016
Topic: Nearly a year on, is the Care Act working?
- Understanding the Care Act key rights and top tips Presentation
- Key points from DDPO Legal Network meeting 8 March
- FAQ for ILF users and other people with high support needs
- Care Act 2014 briefing
- FOI responseFINAL 2015-00887
22 October 2015
Topic: How can we use the law to improve Disabled peoples access to goods and services
- Catherine Casserley presentation- The Equality Act 2010
- Doug Paulley DPPO presentation Oct 2015
- Goods and services cases – how the EHRC can help presentation – Nony Ardill Oct 2015
22 July 2015