Learning to live with a disability can undoubtedly be extremely difficult; however, there is help out there.
Local authority help
Local authorities are required by law to offer a free counselling service to disabled people on a confidential basis. Each session is tailored to individual requirements, ensuring the most effective and personal service possible. Here, individuals can seek advice on issues such as education, benefits, employment, housing and legal rights as well as psychological and emotional support.
Independent counselling services
In addition to local authority schemes, there are a number of independent counselling services that offer specialised advice to disabled people. The DUKH, for example, is an impartial consultancy agency that deals with clients on a one to one basis and offers free advice on legal matters and citizen’s rights.
The Government service, Direct.Gov (http://www.direct.gov.uk) offers help and guidance on a diverse range of practical matters including finding work, training schemes, housing, benefits and advice on discrimination in the workplace. There are also links to local services from this website.
Local services, the internet and telephone counselling
There are also a number of charities and organisations devoted to providing support for disabled people and their families. Although there are several national foundations, many are local trusts which focus on the provision of care and support for local residents and their families; these can be easily located via the internet or telephone directories. If it is too difficult to discuss issues face to face, many of these charities offer advice over the telephone on a strictly confidential basis. There are also several online forums where disabled people can talk with others.
Whatever your situation, there is a wealth of free information, support and advice online or a phone call away.