Changing Our Lives works in partnership with disabled people and people with lived experience of mental health difficulties to find solutions to social injustice and health inequality. Their work takes a community development approach as they know from experience that local people and communities are best placed to find their own solutions to local problems. For this reason whilst they have a range of approaches, including People’s Parliaments and Quality of Life and Quality of Health programmes, they are continually developing new approaches in partnership with local people that work to address inequality and injustice.
They work locally but they always aim for their work to impact at a national level encouraging improvements in policy and practice development. They focus on finding solutions and achieving outcomes that will result in equality, social inclusion and self-determination.
People with disabilities are citizens in their own right and have the same legal and civil rights as other members of society.
All people with disabilities can communicate and have a right to be heard. Some people use words, others use signs, some use pictures and objects and some people move parts of their body or use other ways to communicate. All of these ways of communicating should be valued.
People with disabilities should be supported to lead 'ordinary lives.' This means people should not be left in segregated services but be supported to 'ordinary' lead lives in the community.
People with disabilities should be supported to be as independent as they are able. Being independent doesn't mean doing everything for yourself. It means having people support you with things you find difficult.
All people with difficulties are able to learn. They need to learn how to encourage and support people's learning.
Where is Changing Our Lives