Ealing Centre for Independent Living (ECIL) is a local charity with national ambitions. Under the dynamic leadership of Sian Vasey, it provides both a voice and a wide range of services for disabled people living in the borough.

Last week I launched its latest project, Disability Speak Out Acton. This was a day of workshops and guest speakers at the Priory Centre to introduce a new information and advice service for disabled people in Acton and to focus on their health needs.

On the one hand, disabled people are more likley to suffer from serious illnesses than the general population: twice as likely to have cadiovascular or respiratory problems and five times as likely to have diabetes.

On the other, they are often discriminated against in getting access to medical care. The failure to provide even obvious help such as signing for deaf patients can cause stress and misunderstanding which in turn affects recovery and treatment. The net effect is unhappy patients and extra cost to the NHS.

So it was good to see ECIL championing another neglected issue for disabled people and Ealing Primary Care Trust being willing to take on the challenge. But I am used to seeing ECIL taking on big challenges.

Last week's guest speaker was Peter White, the BBC's disability correspondent and a familiar voice on Radio 4. He had delayed travelling to Beijing to inspect the preparations for the Olympics and Paralympics to come to Acton, which show the waves Sian and her many helpers, mostly unpaid, can make.

The last time I spoke at an ECIL meeting it was at a packed question time with Tessa Jowell, the Olympics minister, to grill her on preparations for the 2012 Paralympics in London. The time before that it was to launch Lord Ashley's Independent Living Bill, which aims to give power to disabled people to demand services tailored to their individual needs. The bill has not yet become law, but much of it is being actively promoted by the Government.

I am sure ECIL don't mind who pinches their ideas, provided the interests of disabled people are brought to the fore. Ten years after the Disability Discrimination Act there are still too many examples of businesses and public bodies ignoring the legal rights of disabled people. The most blatant example of this locally is the failure of London Underground to honour its commitment to step-free access at the new Shepherd's Bush Central Line station. As this is used by many Ealing residents - and Peter White - I think I have found another job for ECIL.