Thursday, 18 June 2009
Learning Disability Week
I recently started following MENCAP on Twitter and yesterday I saw this ‘tweet’ from them:
“Would you be interested in promoting our Learning Disability Week - starting on Monday? The theme this year is accessible toilets”
I replied saying that I would, and asking what to do next. They asked if I would write a blog about Learning Disability Week, I said yes, and here we are!
So here goes.
Next week is Learning Disability Week and this year’s theme is ‘Changing Places, Changing Lives’
MENCAP and the Changing Places Consortium are going to be campaigning for more accessible public toilets; a basic but important need.
When you are profoundly disabled, a lack of facilities can seriously hamper your ability to get out and about for any length of time.
It also affects carers and family members of disabled people, who need to help their child or sibling to go to the toilet. Quite a feat when you’re crammed into a tiny one person cubicle.
For more information about Learning Disability Week please go here, and to find out how to get involved please go here.
Whilst we’re on the subject of MENCAP blogging, I am also in the process of finishing off a series of blogs for MENCAP about what it was like growing up with a disabled sibling.
These will be available on the Families section of the MENCAP website at some point.
I’ve really enjoyed writing them so far. I’ve been chatting with my parents about their memories of my relationship with my brother, and going through old photos to accompany the blogs. Here are some of the ones I have chosen to use:
This one is my favourite:
Not only does my brother look ridiculously cute, but it illustrates a good point about people’s attitudes to disability.
It was his first day at nursery school, and a lot of the parents didn’t want him, or the other disabled children due to join, to attend. They openly said that they didn’t want their children near disabled kids. We also had neighbours who didn’t want a disabled kid living next door.
Contrast that attitude with that picture of him and you’ll have an idea about what it's like to have a disabled family member.
You adore them, and rightfully so, but other people seem to sometimes shun or actively dislike them.
Confusing and upsetting.
I’ll post the blog links when they go live...