Self

5 Organisations Supporting Black People Living With Disabilities In The UK

Despite being in short supply, there are some individuals and organisations out there working tirelessly to improve the lives of Black people with disabilities.

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By Bustle UK

In December 2018, disability campaigners Olajumoke Abdullahi and Kym Oliver (who go by the Triple Cripples) spoke to Metro about the realities of living as a Black person with a disability in the UK.

"Disabled people are practically non-existent in mainstream media. Now imagine how underrepresented Black and non-Black, women, femmes or non-binary people with disabilities are," Abdullahi and Oliver told the newspaper, highlighting the "lack of representation and unaddressed discrimination" they and others faced on "a daily basis."

Last month (June 2020), the CEO of Disability Rights UK, Kamran Mallick, released a statement with notably similar sentiments to what Abdullahi and Oliver had spoken about almost two years previously. The statement, which came in response to the increased action and discussion around the Black Lives Matter movement, said: "We know that globally, a quarter of Black people are disabled compared to one in five white people."

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It continued: "We know that disabled adults from Black British ethnic backgrounds face more barriers to accessibility than all other ethnic groups."

Black disabled people are "less visible, less heard, and less represented in society" Mallick wrote, making clear that the issues Abdullahi and Oliver raised 17 months earlier (issues that have persisted in UK society for decades, if not centuries) are nowhere near being adequately addressed.

And the issue becomes even more apparent when you begin to look into the resources available for Black disabled people in the UK. In every corner of the country, there is a significant lack of charities, non-profits, platforms, networks, organisations, or support groups for those whose experiences of discrimination cross the intersections of anti-Blackness and ablism.

However, despite being in short supply, there are some individuals and organisations out there working tirelessly to improve the lives of Black people with disabilities and to provide support and advice. To find out more about these groups, what they do, and how you can support them, you will find a list below.

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1
Black Disabled People's Association

The Black Disabled People's Association exists to provide an effective support and advice network for Black disabled people living with physical, mental, or debilitating impairments across London — particularly in Brent, Camden and Westminster.

The charity works in collaboration with both statutory and voluntary organisations to ensure the best service possible, which includes a variety of seminars, workshops, and more. These services are available to people of all ages, and provide education, training, resources and advice to those who may require it.

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Disability Rights UK

Although not specifically aimed at Black people living with disabilities, the CEO of Disability Rights UK, Kamran Mallick, outlined his commitment to "providing, promoting and partnering our services within BAME [Black, Asian, and minority ethnic] communities" in the statement referenced above. Mallick acknowledged the "double-burden of ableism and racism in society," and explained how Disability Rights UK "work hard" to offer support and resources to BAME people with disabilities — which includes advice and education on independent living, employability, and more.

The organisation are also committed to influencing public attitudes of disabled people living in the UK, and aim to tackle discrimination faced by vulnerable members of the community.

Donate here

3
The Triple Cripples

Created by Olajumoke 'Jay' Abdullahi and Kym Oliver, Triple Cripples is a platform that sets out to increase the visibility of Black and non-Black women, femmes and non-binary people of colour living with disabilities. The platform, consisting of an official Youtube channel, a blog, and various other social media pages, offers advice, first-hand accounts, and online support to the Triple Cripple audience. The initiative first emerged out of the pair's frustrations with the lack of representation of Black disabled women in UK society.

Give via PayPal here or work with the Triple Cripples

4
Equalities National Council

Founded in 1997, the Equalities National Council is Britain's only Black and minority ethnic (BME) User-Led Disabled People Organisation, and aims to support BME people suffering with long-term impairments.

The organisation's primary focus is to offer a mentoring programme for BME people living with disabilities in the UK, as well assisting the community in accessing benefits and services, locating proper care support, finding work, and more.

Donate here

5
North Manchester Black Health Forum

The North Manchester Black Health Forum works alongside people from marginalised communities who live with long-term health conditions, specifically dementia. The Northern-based charity aims to improve the physical and mental well being of its users, assist with independent living, and reduce loneliness and social isolation by ensuring marginalised members of the disabled community remain socially connected.

Find out how to volunteer here

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The Mentor Circle

Run by leading business owners and professionals, The Mentor Circle is a scheme that seeks to support young people from a diverse range of backgrounds follow their dream career or kickstart their own business. Although not specifically aimed at Black people or people living with disabilities, the organisation have told me they are committed to supporting these communities in particular. Right now, they are running virtual mentoring sessions, which will benefit people "living with disabilities who may not want or be able to leave their home regularly," a spokesperson for the initiative explained in a statement to sent to me.

Find out how to sponsor a grant, hire an intern, or become a mentor here

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Contributions from Sam Ramsden