The Bristol Disability Equality Forum was set up as a community group by Bristol City Council in 1995. They did this so they could consult Disabled people about how to improve disability equality in Bristol and advise them on barriers to this.
Along the way it became a much more proactive campaigning group, and is now a very active, vibrant and independently constituted voluntary sector organisation.
Today it is an organisation of Deaf and Disabled people for Deaf and Disabled people. Membership is open to all Deaf and Disabled adults who live, work or study in Bristol and the areas immediately surrounding it.
Those who don’t identify as a d/Deaf or a Disabled person, or who live outside our membership area, can become associate members, but only full members can make decisions about the Forum.
The Social Model of Disability is part of everything we do. This means that while we recognise and value our differences and impairments, we believe that we are disabled by society, attitudes and barriers to living independently.
Our members include people with physical and sensory impairments, people with learning difficulties, d/Deaf people, Autistic or neuro-diverse people and people who experience mental and emotional distress.
Our funding currently comes from Bristol City Council and earned income from contracts and research. We also apply for funding from a wide range of charitable trusts and government departments.
The Forum offers a range of services to statutory and voluntary sector organisations. These include training, undertaking Equalities Impact Assessments, policy advice and event organising. All this work is done using highly experienced personnel. For further information, go to: About Us/Services to Statutory and Voluntary sector.