A commissioner’s guide to developing and sustaining local user-led organisations
Understanding ULOs: Equality and diversity
Watch Dr Ossie Stuart, a disability consultant, talk about the diversity of ULOs
Many ULOs have equality and diversity at the heart of their roles. They work to ensure that all sections of the community have the opportunity to have their voice heard and be involved in the ULO. This means striving to include:
- adults of any age
- black and minority ethnic communities
- lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender people who use services
Some groups may also work to be inclusive of children and young people, though this can be a difficult area of work.
Many ULOs now aim to work all impairment or social care service user groups (including learning disabilities, long-term health conditions, mental health and physical and/or sensory impairments) but others may have a role with a specific impairment/user group.
To achieve a more inclusive agenda, ULOs need adequate resources so that they can reach out to the whole service user community and ensure their activities are accessible to all. Organisations representing particular groups in the community should also be resourced and supported to play a part in a central ULO or network of ULOs. This requires careful and sensitive planning, alongside a commitment to work together in ways that are most appropriate for local circumstances.