Disability group in profile drive as merger looms

The Disability Rights Commission (DRC) is hunting its first PA agency as it strives to ensure disability rights do not become marginalised when the DRC is absorbed into a new 'super-equality' body next year.

It will merge with the Equal Opportunities Commission to form the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) from October 2007. The Commission for Racial Equality will join the new body in 2009.

DRC head of media relations Patrick Edwards said: ‘Our aim is to take the collecting tin out of disability communications and ensure it is considered a mainstream public policy issue.'

The campaign is set to run from November 2006 to May 2007. The DRC is keen to ensure that the importance of disability rights to the UK - both socially and economically - informs the CEHR's policy and objectives from its inception.

Reporting to DRC assistant director of communications Agnes Fletcher, the successful agency will target influencers and policy makers in government departments across England, Scotland and Wales. Its brief will be to position disability equality as a major national public policy concern by highlighting its significance to government objectives in healthcare, gender equality, education, child poverty and employment.

The range of Whitehall departments affected by the issue calls for a ‘campaign aimed at the heart of public policy', said Edwards, adding: ‘This is not a cossetted, niche concern.' Pitches must be submitted by 30 August.

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