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About Living Options Devon

We offer a range of help and support services for people with a long term health condition, disability and / or who are Deaf, where British Sign Language is their first language.

Man on all terrain mobility scotter, group of people waving on webcams, man on telephone smiling to camera and back of a man in wheelchair wearing a high viz vest with Living Options Devon logo

Humble Beginnings

“I’m sure the organisation is more than capable of going on to bigger and better things. We’ve got a lot of good staff, a high quality team and I’m sure they will take it to another level. I’m only pleased that I’ve been able to play a small part in that”.

Peter Swain OBE – Founder of charity Living Options Devon

The Heritage Ability Team winning the National Lottery Heritage Award
Heritage Ability team being awarded the National Lottery Heritage Award
group photo of Living Options Devon staff 2019

Solid Foundations

Living Options Devon has significantly grown from its humble beginnings.  The charity began with just one employee and Peter as a volunteer, to now encompass a wide range of support services for disabled people, people with a long term health condition, and members of the Deaf Community across the south west.

Thirty Years

The charity continues Peter’s legacy striving to improve the service provision for disabled people in the community. 

Peter’s research in the early 1980s, along with that of those he volunteered with, centered around the extra provision for disabled people and what was available at that time by the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Thirty years on we pride ourselves on still championing the needs and rights of disabled people and members of the Deaf Community (who use British Sign Language (BSL)).

User Led and Disability Confident

Being led and run by disabled and Deaf people helps us understand the issues facing disabled and Deaf people.  We have established trust and credibility within the community, and have a strong commitment to partnership working, particularly through joining up with other charities to provide better services for disabled people.

Exciting Future

Providing that extra service provision that Peter outlined in the very beginning remains our focus today. We offer services, information, and advice that give disabled people and members of the Deaf Community the skills and support they require to overcome barriers such as: 

  • discrimination
  • access issues
  • social isolation
  • communication barriers
  • lack of opportunities

We empower them to live the lives they want; to enjoy independence; gain employment; to know their rights and to find the courage to voice those rights and with your support will continue to do so.

Woman in wheelchair talking to woman outside a building
Two members of Living Options Devon with cakes and a donation bucket under the Living Options Devon gazebo at an event

Our Impact, why accessibility matters and how to get involved

  • Two people in the outdoors, a green wood on a sunny spring summer day, the person on he left is in an all terrain mobility scooter and the other person is walking alongside.

    Our Impact

    We engaged and supported 12041 people with disabilities and / or Deaf British Sign Language users, we delivered disability and Deaf awareness training to 241 people and formed thirteen partnerships with organisations to improve accessibility.

    Our Impact

  • Team of people holding certificates for completing their Disability and Deaf Awareness Training at Geevor Tin Mine

    Why Accessibility Matters – Our Products, Solutions and Training

    We are your local user-led Disability Confident Leader, which means we encourage and support other businesses to become an inclusive, disability, and Deaf-friendly business. We do this through the delivery of quality training, services, and products, designed and delivered by people with lived experience of disability.

    Accessibility Matters

  • Man on all terrain mobility scotter, group of people waving on webcams, man on telephone smiling to camera and back of a man in wheelchair wearing a high viz vest with Living Options Devon logo

    Our Vision – What we’re aiming to achieve

    Our aim is for people with disabilities and Deaf people to have the same life chances and opportunities to be active equal members of society.  Our values have remained the same for the past thirty years and underpin all that we do.  You can find out more about our vision, values, and future goals in our latest strategic overview.

    Strategic Overview 2021 – 2026

  • A gold colourd circle with the words Devon Disability Network around the edge and a map of Devon showing the different districts in different colours.

    Devon Engagement Service and our Devon Disability Network

    Our Devon Engagement Service provides a central point of contact for local authorities and organisations to engage with Devon residents. We support and encourage people to take part in surveys, meetings, and focus groups on health and social care related topics. We engage with members of the Devon Disability Network (DDN) supporting them in having their voice heard and influencing the development and delivery of services.

    Devon Engagement Service

  • Our Partners and Funders

    This page is still under construction, we look forward to providing this information in the coming weeks.

  • Get Involved

    Have you ever considered volunteering with us, helping out at events, or having your say on disability issues? Or maybe you’d like to have some fun by fundraising for us or working with us or become a Trustee? Do you have a range of skills, business knowledge, and life experience that could help our charity? Or perhaps you’d like to raise awareness on the things that matter to you by supporting local or national campaigns?

Phonic FM – Accessibility Matters

Our Radio Show ‘Accessibility Matters aired each month last year and covered information on our support services and hot topics and raising awareness of the things that matter to our service users.

It is a great source of information on our charity and what we do, it also has some lovely interviews, stories, and uplifting beats.

Time To Talk

Our free, confidential listening support and advice helpline, for those with a disability, long term health condition or Deaf people who use BSL.

Learn more

The Hub

Your first point of contact with Living Options Devon, our friendly Hub team connects you to the support services, advice, and information that you need.

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Devon Disability Network (DDN)

Enabling disabled and Deaf people to campaign and be involved in developing the support services they need.

Learn more

Counselling Service

6 free sessions of accessible counselling to people with a disability and members of the Deaf community (British Sign Language Users) across Devon.

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See Hear Centre

Our North Devon hub supporting you with information, advice and equipment for sight and hearing loss.

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Victim Care and Support

Free confidential support for victims of crime

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Countryside Mobility

Providing easy access to the countryside for anyone who has difficulty walking, through an off road mobility scooter hire scheme
Explore the South West with freedom and ease.

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Deaf Get Active and Volunteer

Get Active with us or support others to get into sport through volunteering.

Learn more

Deaf Led Services

As British Sign Language users and members of the Deaf Community, the Deaf Led team know first-hand the issues faced by Deaf people and the best advice and support to give to overcome these.

Learn more

Our News

Government recruiting Disability and Access Ambassadors

The Cabinet Office has announced it is recruiting fourteen new Disability and Access Ambassadors. These ambassadors will help ensure businesses are doing all they can to support their disabled customers.

Read the news post

Our Latest News and Update

2020 has certainly been a year to remember. As it draws to a close we provide some respite from the restrictions and confusion, with this news update on exciting new service offerings, and our plans for the future.

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Have you used one of our support services?

If you would like to share your story on how our support services have helped you throughout this year we would love to hear from you. BBC Radio Devon would feature your story on one of their mid morning radio shows as a pre recorded interview.

Read the news post

New guides will help re-open Torbay’s natural attractions

Living Options has been working in partnership with UNESCO Global Geopark to create a number of Visual Guides that will provide the information people need in advance of visiting.

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Disability History Month

“Access doesn’t just mean physical access, it’s so much more than that.”

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Celebrating Thirty Years

This autumn and into next year we are delighted to be marking our landmark birthday, reflecting on our achievements so […]

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