‘No decision about me, without me’
When there is involvement and meaningful participation of those with direct experience, public policy will be more effective. However, crucially participation will only ever be meaningful if it is inclusive and accessible.
Sense’s Public Policy Team work to make sure that local and national government policy and legislation takes account of the needs of people who are deafblind, those with complex needs, families, and carers. By encouraging involvement, we want to make sure that the policy issues we identify accurately reflect people’s experiences and the result of our work benefits them.
People should be involved in decisions that affect them so another element of our work is to bring people closer to public policy. We regularly inform people of key policy changes that might affect them. We support people to get involved and aim to bring people closer to decision makers.
You can see examples of our previous involvement work here.
Campaigning – you can make a difference
We can all be campaigners.
This could be by taking part in an e-action, writing to your local authority, writing to your MP, meeting with decision makers, taking part in a lobby, organising a local protest, writing a influential oldblog – the list could go on.
The Public Policy Team work on large scale campaigns to ensure public policy and legislation has a positive impact on the people it affects. These campaigns are informed by the involvement of people with direct experience of the issues we address. However, the success of our campaigns relies on our support. Without campaigners, we would not be able to achieve what we have.
We also want to support people with their own campaigning. The Public Policy Team have put together resources that are available for everyone on our website.
Sense itself began as a campaigns organisation. In 1955, two mothers – Peggy Freeman and Margaret Brock – both had children who were born deafblind as a result of rubella during pregnancy. They did not have the support and information they required so they got together with ten other families in similar situations and set up ‘Rubella Group’.
The group began to campaign for better understanding of deafblindness, relevant services, provisions for preschool children, and the recognition of special education needs for children who are deafblind. They made connections with the Ministry of Health and as a result training began for health visitors and welfare clinics. The band of families grew and campaigning continued throughout the 1960’s. Gradually their voices began to be heard and changes started to happen.
We want to continue this legacy of campaigning.
Join our Campaigner’s Network by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org