Regional Disability Forum

In 2012, Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety initiated the regional Physical and Sensory Disability Strategy, which set the direction in supporting disabled people to better exercise their rights, choices and life opportunities. A post strategy workshop took place in April 2018, which looked at the next steps once the strategy ended; the overarching recommendation from that workshop was that a regional disability forum should be established.

In continuing support of an approach based on co-design and co-production of services, which are both user focused and practical, a Regional Physical and Sensory Disability Forum is to be established for people with a physical/sensory disability and communication difficulty. This is also consistent with the values of Delivering Together 2026 with regards to the co-production of services.

As forum members, successful applicants will be required to consider, discuss and feedback to the Department of Health on current, emerging and future strategic policies which may impact on people with a physical, sensory and/or communication difficulty.

Members will be required to consider and advise the Department of Health on the implications for service users and carers of proposed strategic and policy developments impacting on people with a physical, sensory and/or communication difficulty.

What’s involved?

The Regional Disability Forum will meet 3 times per annum and will agree a schedule of meetings at least 12 months in advance. The Forum will bring together the views of service users, their carers, Disabled People’s User Led Organisations, the statutory sector, and the voluntary and community sectors closer to government.

The Forum, through providing feedback at a strategic level to the Department of Health on current, new and emerging policy initiatives, will contribute to improving the experience and outcomes of people with a disability living in Northern Ireland.

What skills or abilities are required?

Lived experience and understanding of the workings of the health and social care sector;

Ability to work with a range of stakeholders to co-produce outputs;

Ability to understand draft policy as presented in your chosen format and articulate your views clearly and succinctly;

Previous experience of working constructively in partnership with stakeholders in similar fora would be desirable.

What support will service users receive?

A short training seminar will be provided prior to the commencement of the Forum. Continuing support with regard to the provision of accessible information and support will be provided by the Department of Health through the Co-chairs.

Registration has now closed. An update will be available shortly.