Disability Network Hounslow strives to relieve the experience of disability and exists to create an inclusive environment for all disabled people.
In 1987, a group of disabled people set up the Hounslow Association of Disabled People (HBADP) which was registered as a charity in 1989 to provide a voice for disabled people: offering support and help to meet their needs. It is a membership organisation: which gives it a unique position within the Borough as an organisation that is fully representative of the client group it serves.
In 2002, HBADP changed its name to Disability Network Hounslow (DNH) and was also registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee. DNH is a user-led, pan-disability, membership organisation. It is a member of DIAL UK, a national umbrella body of disability advice services.
DNH alleviates poverty and suffering by providing information, advice and advocacy to access rights; work; education; services; housing and benefits. ‘At 30%, the poverty rate among those aged 25 to retirement who are disabled is twice the rate for those who are not disabled. This ‘excess’ poverty risk for disabled people is larger than it was a decade ago’. – Monitoring poverty and social exclusion 2007 – Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the New Policy Institute.
DNH is the only specialist information and advice service for disabled people, their families, and carers in Hounslow. Offering a comprehensive range of disability and related advice, it improves lives by helping service users gain independence, freedom of choice and opportunities for full participation in the community: opportunities that their able bodied peers take for granted. It supports over 3,000 disabled people per year and their families & carers and many others, through the service providers who access our services for information and sign posting. The project has raised over £1million in back dated benefit awards for disabled people and their carers in Hounslow.
Membership is open to anyone who identifies themselves as having a disability and who lives or works in Hounslow and the surrounding boroughs. The Board of Trustees, voted in by Members at our AGM, has a majority of members who have a disability - DNH supports the objective of ensuring that the services it provides are delivered in the main by people who are themselves living with a disability, either their own or as a Carer of a family member, friend or neighbour.
DNH operates the social model of disability that considers disability in the context of the social and environmental factors that create disabling barriers to disabled people's participation in society.