Disabled members recognise the importance of belonging to and being active in a trade union – in protecting and improving our rights at work.

Many disabled members are active in the workplace and branches, representing and advising colleagues both disabled and non-disabled.

UNISON in turn recognises the importance of its disabled members and its responsibility for paying particular attention to our needs.

Disabled members rights are trade union issues. UNISON’s commitment to equality and to tackling discrimination is written into the union’s rules.

Regional disabled members groups

Each of UNISON’s 12 regions has a disabled members’ group which meets regularly.

Regional groups each elect two representatives (at least one must be a woman) to the union’s national disabled members committee.

Arrangements for involvement vary in regions.

You can ask your regional office for details.

National disabled members self-organisation

The national disabled members committee is made up of 26 regional representatives and disabled representatives of the union’s Black and LGBT+ groups.

Deaf members who are native British Sign Language (BSL) users are also involved.

This helps ensure the cultural and linguistic needs of the deaf community are taken into account in the development of our disability policy.

The national disabled members committee organises an annual national disabled members conference where disabled members from branch and regional groups meet to decide on their policies and priorities for the coming year.

Go to events and conferences

The national disabled members committee is a recognised part of the union structure and works with other national committees, such as the national executive council and national negotiators, to ensure disabled members’ rights are taken up in every forum.