Our Disabled Women Take Action (DWTA) project aims to build a community of committed disabled women and women with long-term health conditions to work with others to influence practical and policy changes across Bristol.
Run in partnership with WECIL (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living), we’re making small but beautiful inroads into a range of areas.
For more info, or to join the group (new members are warmly welcome), Cora Fern, co-project lead at WECIL.
Accessible resources for mental health services
DWTA participants met with Siobhan from the community access support service (CASS Bristol) to discuss their experiences of accessing mental health support services and ways to improve links to these services in Bristol.
Outcomes included an accessible information leaflet, highlighting what’s available. Contact us for more information.
Inclusive Counselling with UWE
Following the challenges one of our participants faced in accessing counselling, we explored what talking therapies, particularly counselling, are available for disabled women, and what related training student therapists receive.
As a result, a really successful awareness-raising session was held with students and UWE staff who are delivering courses on Counselling and Psychology. We discussed our experiences and the issues affecting disabled people, to help them develop suitable training.
Cora, our DWTA lead from WECIL, said:
It was such a healthy discussion. Staff said they felt “braver” and “more able to have similar conversations” and that the session would help them “see the person as having multiple parts to them”.
Great result – we’re planning to hold more!
Guides on pavement obstruction and recycling
We’re working with Age UK Bristol and Bristol City Council to create guides for the digitally disadvantaged, on dealing with pavement obstructions and recycling, to be available in social spaces, including libraries and doctors’ surgeries.
Blind and visually impaired people can struggle to work out which recycling box is which, so we’re hoping to get embossed box labels created, too.
Campaigning for public toilets in Bristol
The group came together and create an awareness-raising film (see below) to encourage more businesses in Bristol to better advertise and engage with the Community Toilet Scheme.
The Community Toilet Scheme was set up by Bristol City Council following the closure of many public toilets, for businesses and organisations such as bars, restaurants, and cafes to open their toilet facilities to members of the public when needed, without having to purchase anything.
To date around 156 businesses have signed up but DWTA has found multiple issues with the scheme when using it. Staff at the members’ venue are often unaware of the scheme and prevent non-customers from using the toilets.
This film aims to help staff understand the challenges faced by Disabled women and why free access to toilets is key to meeting basic human rights and freedom of movement.