WECIL are a forward thinking, user led organisation dedicated to supporting disabled people so that they can live an independent and fulfilled life.
WECIL grew from a need for disabled people to manage and run their own services.
In 1989, at a time when there were no UK laws to protect disabled people from discrimination, the Avon Coalition of Disabled People (ACDP) was formed. Part of their work was to campaign for ‘Independent Living Services’ to be made available to disabled people. This would give disabled people who were supported by the local authority, the option to decide on and manage their own support needs, instead of the council deciding how they would be ‘taken care of’.
This was a radical proposal at the time, but the ACDP was successful in its mission, and in 1994 secured funding to set up an organisation to deliver Independent Living Services in the Avon area. The organisation was named The West of England Centre for Inclusive Living (WECIL), and was officially launched in September 1995, by Jane Campbell – then Chair of the British Council of Disabled People.
WECIL is now one of the largest CILs in the country, and along the way we have developed a range of other services which support disabled people in different areas of their lives.
The Social Model of Disability says that people are disabled by barriers in society, not by their impairment or difference. Barriers can be physical, like buildings not having accessible toilets. Or they can be caused by people's attitudes to difference, like assuming disabled people can't do certain things.
The social model helps us recognise barriers that make life harder for disabled people. Removing these barriers creates equality and offers disabled people more independence, choice and control.
WECIL uses this model to promote equality and inclusivity for our community.