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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.

Humble Beginnings

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.

“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 Founder of Living Options Devon

The Heritage Ability Team winning the National Lottery Heritage Award
Heritage Ability team being awarded the National Lottery Heritage Award
A group of Living Options Devon staff at the Exeter Office

Our Vision and Values

Living Options Devon is a well-respected, disabled peoples’ user-led organisation. Working for over 30 years, our mission is to ensure that people with disabilities and Deaf people can live the life they choose.

Our Vision:
People with disabilities and Deaf people have the same life chances and opportunities to be active and equal members of society.

Our Values have not changed since 1990, and underpin all that we do. We model within our organisation the changes we wish to effect in wider society:

  • Accessible: We believe in a fully accessible society
  • Equal: Equality of opportunity and freedom of choice
  • User-led: Enabling people with disabilities and Deaf people to influence and manage our work
  • Quality: We aim to deliver the highest standards of service to all the people with whom we work
  • Respect: We operate a culture of open communication, empowerment and
  • development, where individual abilities are respected
  • Achievement: People are encouraged to achieve their full potential.

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.

Find out more in our Strategic Overview.

Two ladies smile at the camera

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.

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.


Staff wellbeing and promoting inclusivity

Living Options Devon works hard to ensure we do all we can to support the health and wellbeing of our staff and volunteers, enabling them to provide effective services for our beneficiaries.

97% of our staff feel well supported.

93% of our staff would recommend LOD as a great place to work.

97% believe LOD is dedicated to diversity and inclusiveness.

94% believe that LOD treats its staff and volunteers equally and fairly.

84% reported that their work gives them a feeling of a job well done.

87% reported that LOD have ensured they have all they need to work effectively from home.

76% strongly agreed or agreed that their access needs have been met so they can work from home. For 12% this was not applicable.

Staff were asked how happy they have felt at work in a given time period. On a scale of: 0 (not at all happy) to 10 (completely happy). 83% scored 6 or above; 73% scored 7 or above. The average answer was 7. 62% of staff reported that this was fairly typical of how they have felt working at Living Options Devon.

Staff wellbeing and promoting inclusivity

We promote inclusivity and support staff wellbeing across all areas of our organisation.

  • We actively attract and recruit disabled people for our job opportunities – some posts have requirement to have lived experience. We ensure our recruitment process are accessible using alternative formats, communication support etc.
  • We discuss access needs with all new employees and ensure staff are offered reasonable adjustments when required. We employ a Disability Champion to offer advice and guidance to ensure employees have the support they need in place We regularly review people’s needs in review and appraisals. We adopt an open door policy – ensuring no-one needs to wait for support or feel they can’t ask for more / different adjustments.
  • All staff are encouraged to discuss interests in being involved in new projects / changing their role to work in a different project / upgrade their position with their managers – disability access needs are supported in any role in the organisation and are never a barrier to promotion
  • All employees undertake disability and Deaf awareness training.
  • We have developed a ‘Keeping Well at Work’ process to enable individuals and their managers to understand negative impacts on wellbeing in the workplace and how individuals would like those impacts to be managed to maintain good mental health.

Our Financial Information

Our income and expenditure can be viewed on the charity commission website.

Disability Confident Leader

Disability Confident Leader logo

We are proud to have been awarded and recognised as a Disability Confident Leader.