Leonard Cheshire Disability is a UK-based global organisation working with independent Cheshire partner organisations in countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Together they support 250 independently managed disability organisations that, in turn, support people with disabilities in their efforts to secure education, livelihoods, health care, rehabilitation and a voice in their society. They also campaign to change attitudes and improve services.
Their programmes are backed up by their research centre run jointly with University College London, which helps them share good practice and innovations in the area of disability and development.
The Leonard Cheshire Foundation was established in 1948 by the late Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC, following the foundation of the first Cheshire Home in the UK. Today, the organisation’s mission is to change attitudes to disability and to serve disabled people round the world.
Leonard Cheshire Disability’s international programme started over 50 years ago in India to help establish new Cheshire Services in different countries and to provide training to service staff. Today the international department has five regional offices and works with partners in 55 countries.
Vision: A society in which every disabled person can enjoy their rights and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential
Mission: To enable disabled people to improve their quality of life and to campaign for the removal of the barriers which hinder them
A Rights-based approach
Disabled people's rights will be at the centre of everything that they do. They will promote and defend the UN Standard Rules, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,the European Human Rights Convention and other international instruments that seek to promote and protect the rights of disabled people.
Working primarily through local organisations and institutions
Strengthening the capacity of local organisations and institutions to implement services and drive campaigns is the most effective way for them to work, and will be their primary approach. However, where necessary they may also work directly on policy or service development.
Changing attitudes and responses to disability
Whether campaigning and mobilising others, or supporting innovation and standards in service delivery, their work will always seek to change attitudes and responses to disability and have a positive impact on policy.
Building enabling communities
Although their policy work has a national application, they will continue to develop community-based programmes that have an impact on disabled people's lives. To help build enabling communities they will work on integrated programmes that engage all aspects of the community, and mobilise educators, health providers, families, community leaders, the business sector and news and information providers.
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