I became an activist An activist is a person who campaigns to bring about change. several years ago. Because of my learning disability A learning disability is to do with the way someone's brain works. It makes it harder for someone to learn, understand or do things. , I don’t always get treated right. People talk to me in a different way that I don’t always understand. This happens a lot to people like me. I want to change this, which is why I became an activist.
I campaign with a local organisation An organisation are a group of people who work together. in Croydon called Willow Learning for Life. We’ve supported Mencap’s Treat me well campaign since it launched in 2018. I give talks to healthcare professionals about how to better communicate with people with a learning disability.
Hospitals and GP surgeries aren’t always accessible Accessible means something is easy for people to use or join in with. For example: Accessible writing means the writing is easy to read and understand. for people with a learning disability. For example, appointment letters can be hard to understand if they are not in Easy Read Easy Read is a way of making written information easier to understand. Pictures are usually added next to the writing. – it can be like reading double Dutch!
I’m also campaigning to get an extra learning disability nurse at my local hospital. I call them ‘special nurses’. They’re so important as they help make sure we get good healthcare in hospital.
I recently met Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, at Mencap’s Health Inequalities summit. I spoke to her about why I’m campaigning to improve healthcare, not just for myself but for others with a learning disability. It was lovely to meet her.
I love being an activist and speaking up for people with a learning disability. I’m in my late sixties now, so it just goes to show you can be an activist at any age!
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You'll be making a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability, their family members and carers.
Talk to your local Mencap activism Activism is taking action to make change. Going to a campaign event with others, writing letters and speaking up are all ways to take action. coach today!