Wales Disability Reference Group

The Wales Disability Reference Group (WDRG) consists of the five umbrella organisations for the main disability groups in Wales - Disability Wales, Learning Disability Wales, Mind Cymru on behalf of the Wales Alliance for Mental Health, Wales Council for Deaf People and Wales Council of the Blind. 

There are many opportunities to raise awareness and ensure that the voice of disabled people is included in debates, consultations and policies.  The opportunities are greater than the capacity of one organisation to respond.  Therefore, member organisations of the WDRG use their internal membership structures and communications to receive the views of their members and participants. The WDRG focuses on policy and service planning at a strategic, all-Wales level. 

One success of the WDRG was to set up an all-party Disability Group.  The purpose of the Cross Party Group on Disability (CPGD) is to address key pan-impairment disability equality issues, including implementation of the Social Model of Disability and the right to Independent Living.

The CPGD was re-established in 2012 and is chaired by Mark Isherwood AM. The Group consists of Assembly Members from each of the four main political parties, members of the WDRG and other third sector organisations.

The Group aims to raise awareness of key pan-impairment disability issues and to promote disabled people's concerns.

The Group will not take on case work but will signpost enquirers as appropriate.

The WDRG is made up of:

Umbrella organisations presenting networks of disabled third sector organisations across Wales. For more information please contact Owen Williams at

The current issues for the Network include
a. The Social Model of Disability;
b. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
c. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
d. The Welsh Government's Framework for Action on Independent Living;
e. The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act;
f. The impact of benefit and public service cuts on disabled people in Wales;
g. Employment;
h. Accessible information / communication;
i. Future Generations Bill and Public Health Bill;
j. Tackling Poverty.