Department for Work and Pensions

Fulfilling potential

Working together to empower disabled people



On 2 July 2013 the Government published Fulfilling Potential – Making it Happen, alongside the Fulfilling Potential: Making it Happen Action Plan.

’Fulfilling Potential-Making it Happen’, emphasises the need for innovative cross sector partnerships with disabled people and their organisations and promoting new ways of working to deliver meaningful outcomes.

It underscores the Government’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People to bring about the changes needed in communities that have a real and lasting effect on the day-to-day lives of disabled people.

‘Fulfilling Potential-Making it Happen’ also harnesses the inspirational power of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver further lasting change to attitudes and aspirations.

Our Action Plan, captures current disability strategy activity and plans across the whole of Government and beyond. It sets out clearly in one place where progress has been made and where we are encouraging and supporting innovative work through the Disability Action Alliance, and disabled people’s user-led organisations.

Delivery on the commitments in the Action Plan will be driven by the Fulfilling Potential Strategy Group of senior officials and overseen and reviewed by the Social Justice Cabinet Committee. The Government will also develop new arrangements for engaging disabled people and disability organisations in this process, and will publish an annual report on the outcomes and indicators set out in the document.

Now is the time for action and innovation, with disabled people and their organisations at the heart of developing and implementing change. The Action Plan and the Outcomes and Indicators Framework will allow us to measure the impact of activity over time.

This Framework provides a basis for how Government can measure progress towards our vision. We have a number of indicators within the Framework, which will show where progress is being made and where work needs to be done. These indicators cover six different themes; education, employment, income; health and wellbeing; choice and control; and inclusive communities.

Fulfilling Potential - Making it Happen

Fulfilling Potential - Making it Happen Action Plan

Fulfilling Potential - Making it Happen Technical Annex

For Braille, Large Print formats and a summary in BSL with audio voice-over and subtitles, please email

Aspire 2 Fulfilling Potential: Making it Happen

Aspire2 Fulfilling Potential: Making it Happen is an online magazine which aims to inspire young disabled people to get involved with disability issues.

The second edition looks at attitudes, perceptions and hate crime.

There are interviews with TV broadcaster Alex Brooker, Mike Penning MP the new Minister of State for Disabled People, Paralympian Louise Hunt, Assistant Chief Constable Harris Disability Hate Crime lead, and Stephen Brookes from the Disability Hate Crime Network. It also features articles about the work that is being undertaken to tackle negative attitudes, for example, the Brittle Bone Society’s schools project, and Time to Change. The Young DPULO (Disabled People’s User Led Organisations) Ambassadors have been involved in the preparing the magazine.

The magazine wants to encourage more young disabled people to get involved with, or benefit from some of the projects that have been inspired by Paralympic Games.

Aspire2 magazine - Issue 1

The first edition looks at the Paralympic Legacy, Sport and the disability strategy.

Fulfilling Potential: Making it Happen - Better Working with Disabled People - The Way Forward

We recently ran a consultation on how best to build on previous co-production and create new arrangements to strengthen the voice of disabled people:

On 16 January 2014 we published a document (below) that includes our response to the consultation and outlines our plans to establish an engagement forum, the Fulfilling Potential forum. This forum involves around 40 disability organisations from English regions and UK nations. It will be co-chaired by Minister of State for Disability and Minister of State for Care and Support and will meet quarterly to discuss and inform government strategy. The work of the forum will be complemented by the introduction of the Fulfilling Potential Policy Advice Service.

Fulfilling Potential - Building Understanding’

On 13 February 2013 the Government published ‘Fulfilling Potential: Building a deeper understanding of disability in the UK today’.

The aims of ‘Fulfilling Potential: Building Understanding’ are:

The main document is structured in two parts:

The evidence is structured around the Fulfilling Potential: Next Steps themes of early intervention; choice and control and inclusive communities.

The main document summarises the analytical evidence on disability. It does not make policy recommendations but the evidence presented here will inform the work of the Disability Action Alliance and the development of government policy on disability.

As well as the main document there is also a summary version. The summary version is available in Easy Read. Both the main document and the summary are available in Rich Text Format.

Building understanding summary

Building understanding main report

If you require Braille, Large Print or Welsh versions please email

Fulfilling Potential – discussions so far and next steps

On 17 September 2012 the Government published two documents which set out its approach to the commitment to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and play a full role in society.

Fulfilling Potential - the Discussions So Far: summarises what disabled people and their organisations have told us, highlights actions already planned and actions underway across Government showing how we are already addressing many of the issues raised. To complement this, and ensure transparency we have published all of the written responses to the discussion document online.

We have also published Fulfilling Potential – Next Steps which outlines our strategic narrative and areas for action. It sets out the principles that will guide the Government’s future work in supporting disabled people to realise their aspirations, promote a fair and equal society and create more inclusive communities. 

Key elements of that are:

Both the Discussions So Far and Next Steps documents are available in easy read and Rich Text Format.

About the Alliance

Disability Rights UK convened an initial meeting involving a range of organisations interested in joining a Disability Action Alliance on 19 November 2012. A cross section of organisations attended including a number of disabled people’s organisations.

Attendees discussed initial ideas for Alliance priorities actions that could be taken forward and how the Alliance might work.

The Office for Disability Issues, in its secretariat role, will collate the ideas and share with all interested organisations. Once the Alliance reach agreement on a way forward, the Office for Disability Issues will support them to start their work.

The Discussions So Far

Next Steps

If you require Braille, Large Print or Welsh versions please email

Page last reviewed: 13 February 2014

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