For many years, society did not recognise the abilities of disabled people. Although some work had been carried out to support disabled people to gain skilled, semi-skilled and clerical work, very little support was given to disabled people who wanted to enter or remain working in the professions or who considered work in management.
The ADP was formed in 1971 to remedy this situation and to provide a forum for disabled people to share both their problems and their experiences of successful personal development and valued work, as well as to help create conditions for other disabled people to realise their full potential.
Our membership proves that disabled people can and do succeed in almost every profession. Today we number amongst our members, disabled people who are working, or who have worked, as professionals or at managerial level, in medicine, engineering, the law, the church, the Civil Service, politics, commerce, education, the sciences and the arts and health and social services - to name but a few.
The ADP provides a pioneering service that is marked by its common sense approach. Our members consist mainly of disabled people living in the UK (and all of our Executive Committee are disabled), but we also have several members who work in the field of supporting disabled people into employment and a number of international members.
Our services include the provision of employment advice, information and/or peer support for the very many disabled people who contact our helpline and their advisors or friends. We have a 24-hour answerphone service where disabled people can seek advice and support from another disabled person. We feel this is very important as we have learnt that disabled people have a particular, specific, and real need to receive information from other disabled people about issues relating to education, employment and training.
Furthermore, there are often barriers to the information that is provided, in that it is, more often than not, in a format that the individual disabled person would find inaccessible. The ADP is able to provide information in the majority of formats requested and will endeavour to provide all information in a particular format at an individual's request. Thus, not only does the ADP support groups of disabled people within particular employment or educational settings, but we are also able to provide support on an individual basis in order to achieve the most effective outcome for the individual.
Generally, in terms of contact with disabled people, the ADP is asked to provide moral and personal support; guidance on effective job hunting; advice on barriers or difficulties encountered whilst at work or in education; advice on benefit related issues; networking opportunities; and information about approaching statutory bodies (e.g. Access to Work), educational establishments and employers when difficulties arise. And, if we don't know the answer, we will try to point you in the direction of someone who will!
However, in addition to the queries from individual disabled people and our members, the ADP has received enquiries or requests for information in relation to education, employment or training issues, as well as requests to complete surveys and provide written information with regard to a variety of disability related issues. We have established contacts with organisations of disabled people; organisations for disabled people; other voluntary sector organisations; local authorities; universities, students and lecturers; central government departments, including the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Health, the Department of Work and Pensions, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Office of Fair Trading; local and regional Business Links and small business services; the media; consultants appointed by Government; and commercial organisations. If you would like to know more about our work, you can download our Annual Report here. If you have difficulty in accessing the information, the Annual Report is also available in a number of other formats upon request to email@example.com
We also provide a quarterly bulletin for our membership to keep them informed about the developments within the organisation. An example of the ADP Quarterly can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:
ADP Quarterly 02 07 pdf version
ADP Quarterly 02 07 text only version
A further important feature, apart from our work with individuals and the public and private sector, is that we seek to ensure that legislation takes full account of the needs and aspirations of disabled people. We believe that our work in Parliament has been one of the key factors that has helped us to be successful in promoting the rights of all disabled people to experience choice and inclusion, regardless of their impairment.
Finally, the ADP supports research into the employment of disabled people and is able to produce informative literature from a disability perspective for the commercial sector. Details are available upon request.
The ADP thus works with disabled people and with statutory, voluntary and commercial sector organisations to promote the fundamental rights of all disabled people.
The Disabled Entrepreneurs' Network
In 2001, ADP established the Disabled Entrepreneurs' Network (DEN) to provide networking opportunities and information services for self-employed disabled people and those setting up and running their own small businesses.
As well as providing networking opportunities, through Regional Groups, DEN acts as a signpost service for accessible and appropriate training and development to disabled entrepreneurs and assists in looking at strategic issues around disability, small business management and self-employment.
The Disabled Entrepreneurs' Network (DEN) website is currently being overhauled. However, please continue to view this website address for any future developments: