Several our LDPO members (Tom, Becca, Hannah and Peadar) went along to the second meeting of the Disability Labour Association on Wednesday 25th April. Although the group is in its infancy, there was an exciting discussion about the formation of the group and what its priorities will be going forward, a topic that was aided by the bountiful selection of biscuits provided.
Although Tom had to apologise for bringing up Brexit and nearly sending the room into chaos, it was agreed that DLA will be focusing on presenting and projecting a strong voice for disability issues in the Leeds Labour Party as well as Leeds more generally as a city. Whilst LDPO is not aligned to a political party, there is the potential for collaboration and sharing of ideas between these two organisations in the future. These could include issues around public accessibility and combating the social isolation faced by many disabled people, both of which were raised during the meeting and are also of great importance for LDPO.
It is exciting to see a major political party taking disability issues seriously within Leeds and the Disability Labour Association is an avenue to ensure that the voice of disabled people remains on the agenda. One important aspect of this is making sure that speakers at DLA meetings on disability issues are themselves disabled, something which we think is fundamentally important to the success of both groups.
Encouragingly, there was great interest in LDPO among those in attendance and I am optimistic that word will spread quickly if we are able to maintain a presence at this and similar events in future. It was made clear that much of our focus will be determined by the issues that are raised at our public meeting next Thursday 3rd of May. Understandably this means that people affiliated with the Labour Party will not be able to attend the meeting due to the local elections taking place on the same night. However, we look forward to feeding back to DLA on our progress at the next meeting at the end of the month. That is assuming of course that the supply of biscuits continues unabated.
~ By LDPO member Tom Harris