News has just come in that Scope (essentially a national non advice giving organisation) is going to shut down DIAL UK following an earlier merger. This will affect disabled people’s advice services at a time when the need is greater. Added to this experienced staff are being dumped. Scope will claim that it has no option following cuts in funding, but they are still managing to pay their chief exec thousands.
We have been told the following:
“If – as seems likely now – none of the current staff get positions in the new structure the main sources of knowledge and intelligence about the network will be lost when it is most needed. Understanding the network and its operation and working on its behalf is the essential uniqueness of DIAL UK.
In this new structure there is no focus on the DIAL brand, name or work of the network. It seems it will become the Scope Network, with no specialist dedicated support for current and potential new members.
Scope are not an Information and Advice provider, they are not a disabled people’s organisation (DPO) or a user led organisation (ULO) so do not understand the mechanisms of running a network or the issues faced by individual member groups.
Dial UK currently receives over 20,000 calls every year from disabled people in addition to the thousands dealt with by each of the hundred plus Dial groups - where will these calls go?
If, as we fear, Dial UK ceases to exist, disabled peoples’ organisations will be abandoned by their main source of advice, support and information - where will they get this support? From Scope’s new people whose Job Descriptions don’t mention or the essential element of understanding pan disability issues and the problems disabled people face”.