For the last two days I’ve been at the World Congress on Intellectual Disability in Birmingham.

I was really excited about meeting people from around the world and to hear about their experiences.

It’s important for me as I lived in Malawi for a year when I was young, and the support for people with a learning disability there was very different.

Day one

My first job was to give a presentation with my colleague in Mencap's Parliamentary Team, Rob, on voting, together with people from France, Sweden and Austria.

 

In the UK the Political parties produce easy read manifestos, but not in other countries. Many people were really interested in our work and wanted to take ideas back to their countries.

In the evening there was a really fun party and it was amazing to see people from around the world enjoying music, singing and dancing. It was very inclusive.

Day two

On my second day I attended the Global Self Advocacy Summit.

This was led by Inclusion International Council members Sara Pickard from Wales and Mark Mapemba from Malawi.

I supported people to make placards about the change we want to see!

 

Proud Parents

My final job was to chair a session called Proud Parents.

I shared my own experiences as a Dad, and we also heard emotional stories from parents with a learning disability from around the world.

In particular we heard from a woman called Marie Joelle from Mauritius who had faced many challenges bringing up her child but had overcome these with help from her family and a local organisation. I think support for parents is very important.

 

I found the World Congress very inspirational. My favourite thing was connecting with people from around the world. I have made connections and friends with people from Malawi, Mexico, New Zealand, Japan, France and Germany.

I hope to go again!