The Disability Law Service (DLS), which provides free legal advice to disabled people and their carers to ensure they have access to their rights and justice, is pleased to announce Rich Watts as its new chair of the Board of Trustees (as of 7 February 2018).
Rich brings over 15 years’ experience working to support, promote and improve disabled people’s rights and equality. This includes time at the Disability Rights Commission and nearly 10 years as director of a disabled people’s user-led organisation. After spells in central government, Rich is now part of the Personalised Care Group at NHS England. He has lived experience of mental health problems.
Eric Appleby, Director of DLS, said:
“We are delighted that Rich has joined us as Chair. We all want to extend our thanks to our outgoing chair, Sarah Holloway, who has provided tremendous leadership and support to DLS over the last 4 years.
DLS provides free advice to over 4,000 people a year. We also provide legal training on employment and disability discrimination to a wide range of organisations across the public, private and voluntary sector. We are looking forward to working with Rich to continue to provide our valuable support to more and more people and organisations over the coming years.”
On becoming chair, Rich said:
“A lot of progress has been made in equality and rights for disabled people over the last 25 years. There remains a lot to do, including ensuring the hard-fought rights of all disabled people in areas such as social care, discrimination, employment and welfare are made a reality. It’s a privilege to join the staff and trustees of the Disability Law Service, and I’m looking forward to working with them and our partners in all sectors to improve the day-to-day lives of disabled people.”