Disabilities Fife's information and advice service addresses a community need in enabling Fife's 70,000 disabled people participate more fully in local community activities and, thereby, engendering a greater sense of worth and wellbeing in being able to contribute to social groups in their areas.
As a registered charity, Disabilities Fife is run by disabled people for disabled people. We work to improve access and equality of opportunity for all disabled people in Fife. Membership of Disabilities Fife is free and entitles members to regular mailings, attendance at 4 Network Meetings in different parts of Fife and 4 Newsletters. It gives also services users information about opportunities to join with others to have their voices heard in order to improve the services they receive for example – access to information, homecare, day care and occupational services – to make them more suitable to their needs.
Information and Advice Service
The information and advice service helps Fife's disabled people to have an easy means to accessing different ways of support and advice through a telephone helpline, a website full of useful information and a Facebook page. It helps Fife’s disabled people to be better able to know more about the services available from Fife Council, NHS Fife, Police Scotland and other public and private organisations so that they know which organisation deals with their particular needs and where to access them. In addition, it enables Disabilities Fife to act as intermediaries in providing direct support to those of Fife’s disabled people who do not have the confidence to deal personally with the statutory organisations.
Why is Disabilities Fife Crowdfunding?
Disabilities Fife is no longer receiving Fife Council funding as part of a Service Level Agreement to enable it to continue to fund and provide an information service in the manor described above. Therefore, we are looking to Crowdfunding to ensure that Fife's disabled people can continue to access our information and advice service and are not put in a worse position in being able to access the necessary information and advice so that they can live independently and participate fully in the community.
What do we need?
We need to raise £2500 in order to secure the continuation of our information and advice service until we know whether or not other applications for grant funding have been successful.
What is in it for you?
Our aim is that, as in Fife, the communities in which we live will become more inclusive and welcoming places for everyone.
This organisation has helped me in so many ways; it has helped me with transport issues and issues with public toilets and the accessibility of them. They have been such a support to me enabling me to live with the disability and supported me through the change in benefits and provided information to help me to understand what changes mean to disabled people and how it would affect us.
I wish to say to everyone that if this organisation were to close so many disabled people would suffer as a result. I feel very strong about the issues that disabled people have to cope with. This organisation has helped the disabled people through ensuring that the local bus company to clearly put signs on the driver’s window for the hard of hearing and in providing driver training to operate the lifts on the buses and also to ensure that they understood how to lock wheelchairs in correctly so that disabled people can travel safely.
If I had not gone to this meeting or if there was no meeting to go to what would have happened. I might of used it myself I would also like to say that a lot of disabled people find it helpful to be able to meet together. So keeping Disabilities Fife open is essential for all disabled people who live in Fife.
I am, and have been a member of Disabilities Fife for some years and found them to be totally understanding of the plight of Fife’s disabled people and their rights. From my personal experience, without Disabilities Fife I would not have been rehoused; they fought so hard to secure my rights as a disabled person and for that I am very grateful. I would say to those, who do not value Disabilities Fife’s information and advice service, think of you and your family. Your lives might be wonderful now but, nobody knows when something in our lives might change and leave us totally devastated. What will you do then when there is no facility to assist and support disabled people in Fife and further afield through Disabilities Fife’s website?
Disabilities Fife has helped me out tremendously with the problems which I faced in using the accessible toilets in Burntisland where I was treated badly. When I went to use the accessible toilets a member of the public asked if I had a RADAR key. Since I didn’t have a RADAR key, I went to use main toilets and was asked to pay although it was obvious that I am disabled person. A gentleman was let in to main toilets for free because he didn’t have change; however, I was asked to pay. My sister approached staff and asked for a phone number to whom I could complain and it was a member of staff who advised us to contact Disabilities Fife. They were very helpful in dealing with the matter and contacted Fife Council on my behalf. Through their help the matter was resolved successfully and I can say that, without Disabilities Fife, I would not have had a successful outcome.
I first became involved with Disabilities Fife a few years ago when I became a disabled person. Since that time the members of staff have been very helpful over the following issues:
• Advising about applying for a Blue Badge.
• Preventing the local authority from limiting Blue Badge Parking on Kirkcaldy High Street to only one hour per day between 9.00 am and 10.00am.
• Trying to get the excessively long waiting time for a Driving Appraisal shortened.
I value the friendly and experienced advice available to me and also the chance to gather with other disabled people at regular meetings to hear expert speakers on a variety of topics such as the provision of home care services in Fife, and the arrangements for self-directed support, accessible public transport, short breaks for disabled people and the advocacy services available to ensure that disabled people are supported and have the confidence to deal with public bodies such as Fife Council and NHS Fife.