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This page introduces the Commission's Disability Committee, explains its purpose, lists who is on the Committee, and provides some background information about the individuals involved.
You can contact the Disability Committee by email
The Commission is required by law to have a Disability Committee. This was considered necessary by the Government because of the highly distinctive nature of disability equality law, in particular the duties to make reasonable adjustments, and the complex technical and ethical issues associated with promoting disability equality.
The Disability Committee has decision making powers in relation to those matters which solely concern disability, and the Commission must seek the advice of the Committee on all matters which relate to disability in a significant way. The Committee is supported by the Disability Programme Director who works across the Commission to ensure the Committee's objectives are met.
Alun Davies chairs the Disability Committee. He succeeded the previous chair, Jane Campbell who then remained on the Committee until her resignation from the Commission in July 2009. Alun has several years of experience in disability and committee work, including chairing meetings.
Alun Davies went to two segregated "special schools" for children with a visual impairment before studying social administration and social work at university. Except for 2.5 years as a social worker working with Disabled children, he then worked after graduating from 1987 to 2003 in Disabled people led voluntary sector organisations. his roles included centre for inclusive living project worker, Disabled people housing project worker, and manager for five years of West of England Coalition of Disabled people. During this time he was also very active on Disabled people's issues in a trade union at a national level, was a elected member of a local authority, wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper on life as a Disabled person and played occasional cricket very badly. In 2006 he co-chaired a advisory group for the Department of Work and Pensions that undertook the work which created the United Kingdom Advisory Network For Disability equality. Alun has worked since 2003 within the Adult Social Services And Housing Department of North Somerset District Council as a planning manager. His non-work interests are cricket, fine dining, Led Zeppelin and history. He has a young daughter and teenage step-son, both of whom are Disabled people.
Saghir Alam, a lawyer and a DRC Commissioner leading on partnership and capacity building. He has been working with central and local government on equality and diversity issues including as a member of Equality 2025. He is also a member of the Race and Diversity Panel of CENTREX, the National Police Training Authority.
Diane has worked on disability, diversity and international development issues since 1992. Her experience includes working with the Institute of Development Studies; as Country Director of VSO Indonesia and currently with Sightsavers International on social inclusion. At a grassroots level, Diane established the Sussex Amputee Support Group and a support group for parents of disabled children in Indonesia.
Diane’s other appointments in public life have included working with the following: the Office for Disability Issues (establishing Equality 2025), the British Medical Association (Patient Liaison Group and Equal Opportunities Committee), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and Sussex Probation Board.
Andrew Lee, Director of People First (Self Advocacy), a campaigning organisation run by people with learning difficulties. It has national membership and has influenced Government on a number of key issues.
Liz Sayce is Chief Executive of RADAR, the leading pan-disability organisation. Before that she was Director, Policy and Communications, for the Disability Rights Commission, where she led on creating a new Disability Agenda for policy for the next 2 decades, as well as a Formal Investigation into physical health inequalities experienced by people with mental health problems and/or learning disabilities. Previously she was Director of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham Health Action Zone. She spent 8 years as Policy Director of Mind, and one year as a Harkness Fellow in the USA, studying the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related policy initiatives. She was a member of the UK Government’s Disability Rights Task Force (1997-99).
With knowledge and experience of mental health issues, she has published widely on mental health and disability issues including From Psychiatric Patient to Citizen (Macmillan-Palgrave 2000). She is also a Trustee of Stonewall.
Director of Policy, Compliance, at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC). He is also Acting Chair of the National Centre for Independent Living, Chair of Tower Hamlets Coalition of Disabled People, and a member of Stonewall’s Board. He is a former Chair of PwC's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender staff network and is currently helping establish their disability network.