About Equal Lives
In April 2013 we became Equal Lives, formerly known as Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People (NCODP). We have developed from determined beginnings and we invite you to read more about our history. Today we have over 50 user-led member groups and over 600 individual members.
Why change our identity to Equal Lives?
As the world changes around us we are taking the opportunity to make sure our organisation remains relevant and strong for the future. In 2012 lots of discussions took place with members, service users, staff and volunteers about their views of NCODP.
The result of these discussions made it clear that change was important. It was felt the name and identity of Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People (NCODP) could be a barrier for some people when approaching our organisation. Some people who wanted to use our services or campaign with us, found it difficult to engage with us as they did not consider themselves to be disabled people. Others found it confusing that different parts of the organisation did different things with different names and identities; one person described it as ‘merely a jumble of letters that people get wrong’. This lead to the re-branding of NCODP to Equal Lives in 2013. Equal Lives simply describes what we are trying to achieve.
Our name has changed but our values and principles remain as strong as ever.
About Equal Lives – Our History
NCODP started as a small group of disabled people in the mid 90’s who wanted to campaign for improvements to legislation and make people in the county aware of their new rights under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. In 1995 NCODP was formed supporting thousands of people to assert their rights and become more independent.
By early 2007 NCODP had grown, all of the services of NCODP complimented each other providing disabled people with advice and support in areas such as direct payments, benefits, advocacy, housing and access. They were an independent resource to help disabled people live a more independent life. It needed to be clear to people that the services were under the umbrella of NCODP, therefore each service was given clear identity by using the NCODP logo and strap line ‘equality, dignity, human rights’. The services were known as:
- Independent Living Norfolk (ILN)
- Disability Rights Norfolk (DRN)
- Norfolk Mental Health Advocacy Service (NMHAS)
- Norfolk Appropriate Adult Service (AA)
In 2012 NCODP recognised the world was changing around them and that they needed to change the way they operated and offered services to enable continued support to disabled people. NCODP undertook research to look and how it operated and to understand people’s views of the organisation. It was identified the name and identity often caused confusion and did not properly reflect the character and values of the organisation. This lead to the re-branding of NCODP to Equal Lives in 2013.
We continue to unite the voices of people who face disabling barriers and work to enable them to live barrier free, independent and Equal Lives!