Lochaber Action on Disability (LAD) was formed in September 1993 by a few local people with challenging medical conditions who had begun to discuss the difficulties they experienced; what they discovered was that despite having differing medical conditions, and these impacting on their choices and opportunities in different ways, they shared strong feelings and experiences about societal and environmental discriminations against themselves and others for being ‘different’. They felt that these inequalities must be acknowledged and addressed in the mainstream. With this central aim and the dream of social integration, and equity of access, choice and opportunity, they started Disability Information and Advice Lochaber (D.I.A.L.), which evolved to become Lochaber Action on Disability.
LAD believes that people with challenging medical conditions are made ‘disabled’ by a variety of discriminatory social and environmental factors, by example:
“My medical condition is that my legs don’t work - an associate disability is that many places I may want to go are not wheelchair accessible”
“My medical condition is that I am recovering from a mental illness - and associate disability that is why prospective employers lose interest when, questioned about gaps in my C.V., I admit I spent the time in a psychiatric unit”
THE AIMS OF L.A.D. are:
To empower people with challenging medical conditions and together for us to address the educational and structural changes necessary to alleviate these barriers of social/environmental ‘disablement’. As an integral part of this process we also promote and advocate for the rights of, and raise awareness of issues concerning, people with challenging medical conditions.