People First (Self Advocacy) is a national user-led self-advocacy organisation, for and run by people with learning difficulties. We have both individual members and member self-advocacy organisations. Our member organisations are stand-alone self-advocacy organisations. They have their own identities and campaign priorities.
We are the only national user-led organisation run and led by people with learning difficulties.
The Management Committee directs the organisation, all members have a learning difficulty and are supported in their roles. Our staff all have learning difficulties and are supported through Access to Work to break down the barriers they face as professionals.
Our vision is of a UK which is free of barriers faced by people with learning difficulties.
- Where people with learning difficulties have real choice, control and independence.
- Where people with learning difficulties have access to user-led self-advocacy organisations, accessible information and the advocacy and support that they need to have real equality of opportunity and inclusion in society.
Our mission is to promote the user-led voice of people with learning difficulties as equal and valued citizens.
We do this by supporting people with learning difficulties and their user-led organisations to grow and have a voice both at a local and a national level. We also support decision makers and services to understand the barriers we face at all levels of society and the support we need to break down these barriers.
Our members decided on the three main campaign priorities to work towards our vision and aims:
- Self-advocacy and speaking up: Nothing about us without us!
- Accessible information and Easy Read: Information is power!
- Local community advocacy and support: Don’t break my life up into pieces!
We call these the 3 Pillars for access to independent living. You can find out more here.
We believe in and follow the Social Model of Disability. We work to show where barriers are created by society and to find ways of breaking down these barriers.
Click on the link below for accessible factsheets on the Social Model of Disability by Inclusion London.
- People with learning difficulties are always the first point of contact within the organisation
- People with learning difficulties should have the support to speak up, speak out and get heard
- Local self-advocacy organisations should be 100% user-led
- Society should be inclusive with people with learning difficulties having equal access to community life, employment and relationships
- People with learning difficulties should know and be able to exercise their rights
- People with learning difficulties can make decisions