My View: Mencap and Learning Disability
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow my to introduce myself. My name is Josie.
I work at Mencap as a receptionist and campaigner. My job means a lot to me because years ago I found it hard to get a job. Now I am involved in interviews, in training and campaigning, so I have many important roles in Mencap.
I love my work because I get to help other people with a learning disability. I am always giving out leaflets to people and spreading the word about Mencap and learning disability. This is something I am passionate about.
Mencap began in 1946, thanks to a mum named Judy Fryd, whose daughter had a learning disability. Judy wrote a letter to a magazine, discussing the challenges she faced, and asked other parents of children with a learning disability to get in touch. Hundreds of parents replied, and they decided to start campaigning to make things right. The association they began turned into Mencap as we know it today. This year is a big year for Mencap as we are celebrating our 70th anniversary and this makes me feel very happy and proud!
Mencap is here to support the lives of people with a learning disability starting from early years support in childhood up to adult life. There are 1.4 million people in the UK who have a learning disability.
At Mencap we want a world in which people with a learning disability are listened to, included, and accepted in life. Only around 6% of people with a learning disability have a job and we want to see more people with a learning disability in employment.
My favourite Mencap campaign is Here I Am, which is all about getting people with a learning disability seen and heard. People shouldn’t judge us and say what we cannot do. They should see us as people first and not the disability. I want them to see what we can do!
Years ago people with a learning disability were forgotten about and learning disability wasn’t talked about. People like me were not seen as human beings and this makes me sad. They see the disability and not the person, but now Mencap is here to help challenge attitudes about learning disability.
Everyday people with a learning disability face challenges like accessibility, employment, education, housing and healthcare. If there were more small changes like reasonable adjustments made, then the world would be better for people with a learning disability and it would become more inclusive. This is one of our Mencap values!
I am enthusiastic about having my job and it is worth getting up in the morning for. People with a learning disability want to have more choice and opportunities like anybody else. Our voices need to be heard.
To find out more about Mencap, go to their website.
This post was written by Josie, who works at Mencap. Thank you very much to Josie for telling us her view!
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