Each year we celebrate Learning Disability Week to raise awareness and educate people about learning disabilities. This year it is taking place between 19th – 25th June, and we want to take the opportunity to show how proud we are about learning disabilities and how everyone else should be too!
As society has progressed, we have seen the emergence of the Gay Pride and Black Pride movements which are amazing instances where communities who have been marginalised for centuries have united and declared how they are proud of their identities and cultures.
Whilst many people with learning disabilities are also a part of these communities (with events and venues becoming more accessible to them), society still has a very long way to go in regard to perceiving learning disabilities in the same way.
Over time, learning disability nursing practices have improved but, language and attitudes towards learning disabilities’ have not evolved very much over the past couple of decades. Whilst other minority groups have seen a revolution with their identities shifting from a place of shame to that of pride – it seems that those with learning disabilities have been left behind. Learning disabilities are often perceived as something to look past or not to be acknowledged at all, with organisations often pushing the message to ‘look past my disability.’
However, whilst society should not just see a person for their disability alone, their disabilities should not be ignored completely as if they are something negative! A person’s learning disability is what makes them unique and part of who they are; and we think that should be celebrated! We want to challenge people’s perceptions of what it means to have a disability and show that disabled people can be BOLD, GOLD, WILD and PROUD about their learning disability.
As a result, we have created our ‘Proud About Learning Disabilities’ campaign which showcases some of the wonderful people who we support and demonstrates how amazing they all are in their own way. Being proud about learning disabilities is not just something we feel strongly about for Learning Disability Week but every week as we continue to raise awareness and promote pride in learning disabilities.
Written By Emma Croxton