Blog by Dorothy Watson, CEO
Asbutr hough frasslesnbrorosi ……….is that clear?
As I look back over the past year, the word that stays with me is ‘clear’.
It became clear that the pandemic was going to change all of us in many ways – how we live, what we value and who we most miss. It was also clear to me that we were facing the same daily challenges as those with learning disabilities – not being given sufficient time to understand or process change, not seeing friends, being stuck at home, trying to understand new social cues and behaviour, feeling forgotten or viewed as a potential risk or threat.
It also became clear that our world and the information needed to live in it was not clear, especially for people with learning disabilities. Our world was a very different place.
So, we launched a twice weekly radio show called ‘Sunny Sessions’, we shared information and shout outs, we opened an online hub with Easy Read information, we photographed people on their doorsteps so they were not forgotten, we advocated for people’s basic rights to access the same services as others, we launched zoom groups and activities to stay connected and we called those who were struggling and frightened. Day by day it became clear that although socially distanced, we were becoming closer and that we were in it together.
If the world of Covid has taught me anything, it is clear that we are all the same – with or without a learning disability. The only difference is what society expects from us and how we are treated. It isn’t the common ground that we share but the barriers that divide us.
As we move forward in this pandemic, clearly it is time to change and challenge barriers…. Is the information you provide easy to read and understand? What do you do when you see someone struggling to understand where to queue? Do you hear or witness points of views that exclude or discriminate against people with learning disabilities?
We are moving towards a new world. We are not the same as we were a year ago. Help us make these next steps accessible ones and live with inclusion at the heart of everything that we do.
#BreakingBarriers…….. is that clear?