London-wide deaf and disabled people organisation, Inclusion London, has called on Lewisham Council to release more information about its plans for the borough’s deaf and disability services.

This comes more than six months after the borough’s former Deaf and Disabled People’s organisation (DDPO) closed down, with its work not replicated elsewhere until the borough's new DDPO, called the Accessibility Commission launches in December.

This means the borough's deaf and disabled people will be without an organisation to promote and protect their rights for a year, causing concern for local disabled person Ellen Morrison, who is also a media officer for Inclusion London.

She said: “Deaf and Disabled people’s organisations are run and controlled by Deaf and Disabled people, they are committed to the social model of disability and they’re instrumental in campaigning for Disabled people’s rights,” she said.

“Generic local services cannot always meet the needs, or understand the specific concerns, of Disabled people. In addition, DDPOs are big employers of Disabled people. When we lose DDPOs, we lose accessible services and the voice of Disabled people locally,” she added.

“We would like the council to publish and to discuss their plans for accessibility commission.

“We are disappointed it has taken this long when an Accessibility Commission was in the manifesto and in the corporate strategy.

“We hope that that the council will publicly announce how disabled people can get involved.

“If they are going to have disabled people running the commission we should be aware of how disabled people can take part in it,” she said.

The new commission will have £35,000 to allocate to local services – less than half the funding given the the former DDPO.

Lewisham head of community safety, James Lee, said this would mean a reduction in service.

But the majority of the coalition’s £87,565 went towards funding its advice service, a council spokesperson said.

The new commission will only coordinate services across the borough, and not give advice.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: “The Commission – which will be led by disabled people – will not provide direct services but be a vehicle to engage disabled people and ensure the coordination of services provided for them are defined by them. As such, disabled people will, via the Commission, prioritise the areas of activity to be funded with the £35,000 that has been held back from the Main Grants programme,” she said.

“This funding does not replace the previous Lewisham Disability Coalition funding. The majority of the Lewisham Disability Coalition funding was for advice services and this has now been transferred to the Advice Lewisham Partnership. It should be noted that about 45 per cent of the people contacting this service have a disability or long-term condition.”

She said the council “cannot define exactly what the Commission will look like as it will be led by disabled people.”

“We will be recruiting the Chair during the autumn who will have a key role in setting out the roadmap for the Commission,” she added.

According to the 2011 census, 14.4 per cent of Lewisham residents had a long-term health problem or disability which either limited their daily activities a little or a lot.