About Us

We are a national charity working to achieve full access and inclusion for disabled people.  We promote access in its widest sense, including access to the built and natural environment and access to the same opportunities as enjoyed by others in our communities thus promoting a life of dignity, respect and independence. This extends beyond physical access to include access to information, access to inclusive communication and inclusion in decision-making, whether with planners over inclusive design or transport providers about accessible travel.  Our aim is for every disabled person to have the opportunity to participate in a fulfilling life.  We represent the views of individuals with any type of impairment, as well as disability organisations and groups who share our values. We are a membership organisation and as such listen to the views of disabled people and champion on their behalf.  We work to influence the policies of the Scottish Government which affect how disabled people live, and work to encourage others to be inclusive and informed in their attitudes towards disabled people.

We are also the umbrella organisation for all disability Access Panels in Scotland and we are the principal provider of support and guidance to the Access Panels presently representing disabled persons at a local level throughout Scotland.  Access Panels are committed to improving access and equality in its widest form which means access to the physical environment, Education, Housing, Health, Transport, Leisure & Recreation and Social Justice amongst other areas.

Our Vision

A better life for disabled people.

Our mission

Our mission has always been to increase awareness and knowledge of Access and Inclusion to improve the lives of disabled people in Scotland.  Our Strategic Plan introduces a stronger statement, which defines the purposes of our organisation and our intended contributions to improving the lives of disabled people.

Our mission statement is:

“Achieving full Access and Inclusion for disabled people in Scotland.”

‘Achieving’ means ensuring that disabled people have the right combination of support and opportunity to reach their potential.  ‘Full Access and Inclusion’ means the opportunity for every disabled person to actively participate with their family, friends, co-workers and other valued relationships in creating a fulfilling life.

We are a member-led organisation, representing individuals with any type of impairment, disability organisations and groups who share our values.  We listen to the views of disabled people and champion on their behalf.

Our Principles

Our principles help guide us in what we want to achieve.  Our work is focused on our three principles:

  • Positivity

Positive Approach.  We are a solutions focused organisation.  We want to hear what is working well and what is not working to approach the issues in a positive way.

  • Promotion

Promoting Equality.  We are a proactive and media aware organisation.  We look to promote good/best practice and achieve a greater awareness of disability equality and accessibility across Scotland.

  • Partnership

Partnership-focused.  We are a collaborative organisation.  We work with partners across all sectors to achieve real measurable change across Scotland with regard to access and equality.

Scottish Disability Equality Forum launches three year Strategic Plan

We have launched our Strategic Plan, which not only describes our organisation’s vision, mission and principles, but also details our key strategic aims between now and 2020.

These are the following:

  • To communicate, promote and campaign the importance of social inclusion, ensuring the opinions of disabled people are taken into account from the first point of planning.
  • To increase awareness, knowledge and understanding of access and inclusion across Scotland.
  • To develop a creative and adaptive organisation.

You can find a link to the Strategic Plan below, alternative formats are available:

A Summary of the Strategic Plan is also available:

Access Panels

We are the umbrella body for Access Panels in Scotland.  Panels are groups of volunteers who work together to improve physical access and wider social inclusion in their local communities.  We offer support and training opportunities to help them operate efficiently, link together as a network and learn from each other.  Find out more about Access Panels in Scotland – http://accesspanelnetwork.org.uk/