OBAC was founded in 1988 by a group of committed visually impaired African and Caribbean people and became a registered charity in 1994. The charity was set up to offer unique services to primarily people with sight loss from black and ethnic minority backgrounds; however, over the years we have revised our remit to include people with other sensory and physical impairments. In 2010 OBAC registered to become a Company Limited by Guarantee and re-registered with the Charity Commission.
OBAC is a user led organisation and the members and service users are actively involved in the shaping and development of our services. OBAC supports disabled people on matters affecting their lives and represent and ensure they access mainstream and voluntary service providers so that their interests are promoted and protected.
Our work consists of support services, to help users to develop individual strategies for independent living and to access social events and network meetings to reduce isolation and increase awareness and community cohesion. We provide advice on immigration and benefit matters and do casework on behalf of clients.We also work to alleviate poverty and give advice and training to get people in to work or to progress to further education/training programmes. We provide accredited training in Adult Numeracy, Literacy, ESOL, and ICT, as well as in soft skills, including interview skills, CV preparation, mentoring and job search. We provide a transcription service; by recording newspapers, magazines and other articles and features on CD.
Over 692 users access our services annually and an average of over 25 people referred from other statutory and local service providers monthly. This is evidence that we provide a much needed service.
Recognising and understanding the needs of people with disabilities and their carers by building confidence.
We are trusted advisors and educators supporting and empowering people to sustain their independence and facilitate greater independence and facilitate greater participation in the community.
Our Values as an organisation include:
- Demonstrating integrity in all that we do
- Acting with respect towards each other, clients, partners and the general public
- Taking responsibility for each other’s mistakes
- Demonstrating transparency in our dealings and decision making
- Understanding and accepting individuals for what they are and what they can become
Our Strategic Focus
The core areas for our strategy and work is focused around the following areas; Supported Services, Immigration, Poverty and Work. Our strategic focus enables us to work at strategic levels, campaigning, influencing decision and policy makers in addressing the needs of people with sight loss and other physical and sensory impairments. Over the years we have addressed and provided guidance, support, assistance and empowering our clients on inequality issues i.e. disability and cultural differences. We have come to the realisation that in order for the organisation to have a sustainable strategy there is a need to diversify our income and we are now at the stages of implementing our identified trading activities that will help with the sustainability of OBAC.
Aims and Objectives
- To relieve the needs of disabled people in particular the blind and partially sighted by provision of an Information and Advice Service
- To promote all or any charitable purposes primarily but not exclusively for the benefit of disadvantaged people and, in particular, the advancement of education, the protection of health and the relief of poverty, distress and sickness.
- To work with similar like-minded organisations and individuals outside the UK and in particular Africa and the Caribbean to promote charitable purpose for the benefits of marginalised and disadvantaged people and communities.
- Being acknowledged and recognised as a successful and professionally run black voluntary sector organisation.
- Achieved Investor in People standard in 2001 and continue to maintain the standard
- Achieved the Community Legal Service Quality Mark in 2002 (General Advice and Casework)
- Achieved funding from local and central government
- Achieved funding support from charitable trusts
- Achieved Office of Immigration Service Commissioners accreditation. We offering advice, support and casework at Levels 2.
- We are a registered training centre for OCR and City and Guilds and London Open College Network
- Became a Company Limited by Guarantee in 2010.