Ideal for All

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IFA Pays tribute to founder Roy Short

roy-shortThe founder of IFA, the disability rights campaigner Roy Short, has died aged 75.

Roy, of Bearwood, Birmingham, suffered from a rare eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa (RP) that left him blind at the age of 28. He became a leading campaigner on behalf of disabled  people and set up Ideal for All in 1996 to promote the rights and wellbeing of residents living with disability in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell.
 
Roy’s own personal experience of living with blindness was central to shaping his ambition of helping others. While adapting his lifestyle to meet the needs of his disability, he perceived there to be a general lack of support available for people suffering from RP and similar conditions. He also felt strongly that the widespread fragmentation of services available to the wider disabled community was proving a barrier to independent living.


Roy’s response was to set up Ideal for All with the aim of unifying support for disabled people in Sandwell, by offering a central source of services, information and advice. IFA now employs over 50 staff, 30% of whom are either disabled or suffer from chronic conditions, and provides a wide range of services to disabled people to encourage and help them to live as independently as possible.


Roy was instrumental in raising the £2million needed to build the Independent Living Centre, with support from Sandwell Council and Sandwell Health Authority. The doors were opened in 2000 offering a range of health and social care services. It's been hugely successful and is seen as a flagship disability service for Sandwell borough.


During his sighted years, Roy worked as an engineer in Sandwell until he became blind. He went on to set up two charities for disabled people - Employability and Ideal for All - and devoted a large part of his life in a voluntary capacity to helping others. In 2000, Roy retired as manager of Employability but remained Chairman of IFA until 2008. In 2006 Roy was honoured by the IFA charity board and members when he was made President for Life.


Roy died on 30th May in hospital. He is survived by his sister and nephews. Roy’s funeral will be held on Monday 10th June at 1:45pm at Sandwell Crematorium, West Bromwich, continuing afterwards at the Wallace Suite, Menzies Strathallan Hotel, 225 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 9RY.
 
A special memorial day will also be held on Wednesday 17th July 2013 at Ideal for All to mark the achievements of Roy Short. Further details can be obtained from Michelle Drinkwater at Ideal for All on 0121 558 5555.

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