About Equality Together

It’s easy enough to say that we’re a disability charity, but what we really are is much more.

Equality Together is a local user-led organisation for disabled people, their carers and families.

We’ve been here for over 40 years, starting from a grass roots movement of disabled volunteers who decided it was time to make a change.

What started as a helpline run by 5 disabled volunteers has grown and changed over the years, and we’re now proud to offer several vital services to the people of Bradford.

Our core values haven’t changed – we’re still run by disabled people, working with disabled people.

We’re challenging the social model of disability one day at a time and we’d love for you to be a part of it.

Our services are currently available to people facing disabled barriers that reside in the Bradford district.

Our Vision, Mission and Values

We believe in the social model of disability, whereby the systemic barriers, social exclusion and derogatory attitudes disable people, not the disability or health condition.

Our work ensures people have choice and control over the services they access, contributing to their improved health and wellbeing.

Equality Together fight to improve life’s challenging barriers and ensure people are not limited by these barriers.

Our Charter

The charter outlines the main objectives of Equality Together.

The objects are restricted to the following for the benefit of the public:

  • To provide the relief of all people who by reason of their disability, age, infirmity, sickness, social or economic circumstances, caring responsibilities, or who are socially excluded for other reasons, face barriers to accessing, or have a need of, health, social care or other related community services; and
  • To promote education and provide information, advice, support and training, which will enable such people to:
    • respond to issues of concern and interest related to their care
    • help them to meet their needs;
    • and participate more fully in society and more specifically within their local communities

our mission and values

Understanding Disability

Barriers aren’t just physical, like stairs. They can be people’s attitudes, the way things are organised, discrimination or a lack of access to services.

Disability is part of the human condition. Almost all of us will experience an impairment at some point in life, whether it is temporary or permanent, and when we reach old age we experience increasing difficulties in functioning.

Medical Model – The woman in the wheelchair is the problem

The traditional, medical model of understanding is that the person is disabled by their medical condition. Seeing the world through the medical model, the woman in the picture can’t get up the stairs because she’s in a wheelchair. The disabled person is seen as the problem.

In the medical model you are defined by what is ‘wrong’ with you. You will be seen by others and may even see yourself as:

  • Not a ‘normal’ person
  • A medical problem
  • Dependent on others
  • Unable to make decisions
  • Less equal

In a medical-model world you are disabled by your impairment.

  • Jane can’t read her appointment note from the hospital because she’s blind
  • Tom can’t teach at school because he’s profoundly deaf
  • John and his friends aren’t welcome in the pub because they have learning difficulties and will upset the other customers
  • Julie can’t go to work at the supermarket because she has panic attacks

Social Model – The stairs are the problem

The social model of understanding accepts impairment as a normal part of being human. What disables people are the social attitudes and physical barriers, not the impairment itself. Seeing the world through the social model, the woman in the picture can’t get to the upper floor because of the stairs. The stairs are the problem.

In a social-model world you are defined as a person with equal rights. You should be seen by others and see yourself as:

  • An equal citizen
  • Someone who, like everyone else, needs medical care
  • Independent
  • Able to make decisions

In a social-model world you are disabled by being socially excluded.

  • Jane can’t read her appointment note from the hospital because it’s not provided in Braille
  • Tom can’t teach because a sign language interpreter hasn’t been provided
  • John and his friends can’t go to the pub because of the landlord’s discriminatory attitude
  • Julie can’t go to work at the supermarket because there is not a flexible, non-judgemental management approach
pictures of bradford