I feel strongly about people with a learning disability getting into work and having a choice of things they want to do in life, like anyone else. I feel that people with a learning disability, with the right support, can achieve great things.
I work in the Parliamentary team at Mencap, lobbying MPs and making sure people with a learning disability get the things they are entitled to in life - like employment, benefits, housing etc. My role involves talking to politicians and other groups about learning disability, the issues people face, and what needs to change. By making sure politicians are listening, I help to make sure people with a learning disability can get the best out of life.
Monday-Friday I go to work, I receive good support through Mencap and my colleagues. At Mencap I feel very comfortable because everyone knows me and the support I need. But when I’m outside Mencap, it’s a little bit different. People can be patronising. People treat me differently. Sometimes people can be ignorant and not very nice. It can be quite challenging when people react that way.
I believe people with a learning disability should be treated the same as everyone else without a learning disability.
People with a learning disability should have the right support, so they can do things in day-to-day life. As long as they are receiving the right support and advice, they can achieve the same things as someone without a learning disability.
Society needs to change attitudes. For example, if people with a learning disability want to find work, it can be quite difficult because employers are not willing to take them on - their attitudes are not right. Employers’ attitudes need to change so they understand that it’s important for people with a learning disability to work, and they can do good work.
When it comes to working, it’s not just about pay that’s important, it’s also about meeting people and networking, getting confidence, giving people their own responsibilities and the chance to develop. Everyone is entitled to get a job. Anyone who can work and who wants to work, should be able to.
In the future I would like to see more people with a learning disability in work, and for life to be more affordable for them, getting their own homes, getting the right education, having access to all the rights and support they need. I also hope people with a learning disability will be more a part of the community and society, and getting the support they need to live life to the fullest.
In my spare time I like to watch football and play fantasy football. I also like to spend my time with my children, my family. I also like to talk to my friends. I enjoy my life, my work life, my family life, I really enjoy it.
Got questions about learning disability? Who better to ask than someone who has a learning disability!
We got Aeren to answer some questions. Take a look at the chat to hear her thoughts and experience of having a learning disability...