Viewpoint's Hotlist of inspirational people
Tuesday 17 May 2011
Viewpoint magazine's list of 20 inspirational people with a learning disability
A recent poll has revealed that just 1% of the British population can name someone who has a learning disability. Mencap's Viewpoint magazine has set out to change this by publishing a 'Hotlist' of successful people with a learning disability.
The Ipsos MORI poll, carried out on behalf of Mencap in March, found that while more than half of the population could name a high-profile disabled person, 99% could not correctly name someone with a learning disability.
The most frequently named disabled people included blind Labour MP David Blunkett and physicist Stephen Hawking, who has motor neurone disease. Stephen Fry, who has bipolar disorder, was the third most commonly cited person.
However, when it comes to high-profile people with a learning disability, the public seem to struggle. Even after being given a definition of learning disability, many people incorrectly named celebrities who have dyslexia. Only 1% of those polled could accurately name a high-profile person with a learning disability – most commonly 'Britain's Got Talent' star Susan Boyle.
In an effort to redress the balance, the latest issue of Mencap's Viewpoint magazine highlights 20 of the most inspirational and successful people with a learning disability. Leaders in their fields, these individuals include tenacious campaigners, determined athletes and some of the most creative minds from the arts world.
Encouragingly, 41% of the public believe that the number of disabled people in the media does not reflect society as a whole, and 44% would like to see, hear or read about more disabled people.
"Britain has a wealth of disabled talent but the simple fact is that they are not seen enough in the media," says Mencap's chief executive Mark Goldring. "They have the right to be represented equally in society and people want to see them in the media."
See photos of everyone on the Hotlist
Download the latest issue of Viewpoint
There are many successful people with a learning disability. Who do you think should be included on the Hotlist? Post your feedback below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and suggestions will be printed in the next issue
Read Ciara's blog on the Talk Learning Disability website about why there aren't more people with a learning disability in the media
Photos by Robert Decelis