DIAL Barnsley is a registered charity providing free impartial advice and information to disabled people, carers and their professionals, throughout the borough of Barnsley.
We were originally established in 1985 by a group of disabled people who recognised the need for an independent central point for information and advice for disabled people to access.
It was apparent, even at this early stage, that disabled people themselves would be the ‘experts’ to deliver this service as they had the personal experience to understand the information and advice needs of other disabled people. So, initially the service was run by a team of volunteers, all of whom were disabled and willing to share their knowledge, and whom were able to develop their own ‘work skills’ through providing the service.
Over the years we have experienced continuous growth and received many accolades including:
- “Getting the Message Across” Award from The National Information Forum in 1997
- Our Co-ordinator was a finalist in “Cosmopolitan Woman of Achievement “ Award 1999
- Nominated three years running from 1999 – 2002 for the Queen Elizabeth Foundation “Ease of Access” Awards
- Finalist of three in the BT “Carers in Employment” Award
- And more recently, nominated for the “Central for Social Justice” Award 2008
Since our establishment, all our services have been developed in response to the needs and demands of our clients. We work to the social model of disability and attribute the success of our organisation to our ethos which is to:
“See the person first”
"The DIAL Barnsley Charter For Promoting Independence"
We remain a ‘not for profit ‘user led organisation (ULO). We have a reputation for providing high quality, professional services, whilst maintaining a friendly and down to earth approach.
We aim to involve our users in all aspects of service delivery and development. This is demonstrated by the fact that all our staff, including volunteers, and trustees have personal experience of disability and /or caring which enables them to understand and empathise with the challenges our clients face. Many are current or ex service users.
Our aims are to enable our clients to be informed so they may consider their choices, become more independent by overcoming social and economic barriers and, ultimately, make a lasting difference to the quality of their life.
In addition we work towards eliminating discrimination by raising awareness amongst the community of the abilities and rights of disabled people and by representing their views with local service planners and providers.