The Asian People's Disability Alliance
The Asian People's Disability Alliance (APDA) is a user-led registered charity of Asian disabled people.
Launched and active since 1988, APDA is a non-political, non-religious and non-profit making entity.
Its aims and objectives are:
• to provide needs-led and user-led culturally-appropriate services that mainstream service providers are unable to provide because of limited or no expertise in culturally-related matters of Asian disabled people, their carers and their families.
• to work in partnership and in collaboration with service planners and other mainstream bodies to help incorporate the particular needs of APDA's client groups in service planning and other programmes that affect their lives.
• to act as a resource for Asian disabled people, their carers and families for consultation, peer support, exchange of information and ideas etc. and as facilitators in their social development.
It came into existence after a conference held in Brixton, London that aimed to address why BME people with disabilities (pwd) did not access mainstream public services. APDA was then founded by a number of Asian disabled delegates to that conference, with its aim being to increase the numbers of Asian pwd accessing mainstream health and social care services by APDA offering such services itself by in collaboration and partnership with mainstream providers.
Asian disabled people and their carers are at a great disadvantage because many mainstream service providers do not take into account racial and cultural diversity. Mainstream providers also sometimes prescribe to the stereotype, albeit unintentionally, that the extended Asian family ‘looks after their own’. Because of language barriers, marketing and communications strategies from some mainstream providers in terms of their messages genuinely reaching and being understood by the Asian community are also very poor. As a result, there is a poor uptake of such services amongst the Asian community and Asian users find themselves socially excluded. The spiral of isolation then worsens as Asian users’ lack of faith and trust in the ability of many existing organisations to deliver culturally appropriate services continues.
APDA addresses this by providing Asian culturally-appropriate services which offer:
• all the different South Asian languages
• an implemented knowledge and experience of Asian:
• cultural codes
• social codes
• religious codes
• gender codes
• dietary codes
The Asian disabled community has a right to culturally-appropriate support services. These services are of such a specialist nature that they can only be provided by individuals and organisations with the direct, genuine specialist skills and experience of being part of this community.
APDA has twenty one years’ experience in developing and providing specific services to Asian people with disabilities.