William Case's Story
William embarked on his Fellowship to USA and Canada in 2011 to research best practice in support services for people with disabilities.
William’s Fellowship enabled him to see at first-hand a variety of programmes and tools that enable people with disabilities to realise their potential for work and independent living. He visited Washington DC, Minneapolis, Toronto and New York over a four-week period, and met several organisations and members of the local authorities.
William felt that, while the system for employment for people with disabilities is better established in North America, the UK’s approach to independent living for people with disabilities is much more advanced. He was able to pass on information to the people he met through his Fellowship and also bring back good practice to the UK.
On a personal level, the Fellowship has improved his level of confidence. As an Ambassador for The Council for Disabled Children and also through his work with the National Children’s Bureau, In Control, Mencap and Partners in Policymaking, William has been able to share the new knowledge and understanding he gained on his travels with local authorities and organisations. He has worked with his MP to improve the standard of best practice for people with a disability locally. He is also working with national organisations in the disability fields on how the UK government can improve the standard of disability practices throughout this country.
William aims to positively influence how people such as himself are supported to achieve their ambitions for meaningful employment and to lead independent, valuable lives. He is currently lobbying local authorities and national government to implement some of the measures he saw being used in America and Canada, and is now piloting his own social enterprise called ‘Your Support Matters’, alongside My Life based in Wigan. William has observed that even when people with disabilities are given a personal budget to live independently, it is difficult for them to find a personal assistant (PA) to meet their requirements. With his initiative, he aims to help them find the right PA and guide them through the process of living independently.
William is also planning on setting up a ‘siblings group’. This will provide a platform for siblings of children with disabilities to voice their feelings. William feels such groups have previously been dominated by parents and children with disabilities and that needs to change.
William strongly believes in everyone’s right to live an independent life.