This week, I wanted to draw attention to some of the initiatives and campaigns I have discovered in the last few days. One of the themes of our inquiry is community, and we are interested in the ways disabled people can share experiences and gain skills together. Here are some great examples:
Includeed is a new community dedicated to creating inclusive workplaces by bringing together employees, companies and customers to share their experiences. Companies will be graded on how they tackle different diversity topics, including gender, age, disability, religion and sexual orientation. It will also be a space to share ideas on the best ways to achieve equal employment opportunities for all. They are launching their beta today- get involved here.
2. Learning Disability England
Learning Disability England is a ‘megaphone’ for people with learning disabilities. It will bring people together via a democratic forum, and then amplify the concerns raised. The idea isn’t to replace other charities or initiatives, but simply to draw attention to what is being done by others, provide advocacy, and to raise the profile of its members. Personal membership with be £12, and you can join here, or find out more on their website.
3. Get Yourself Active
We may be a little biased here, as Get Yourself Active is run by our partner Disability Rights UK, but we feel this is an important and interesting initiative. The campaign encourages disabled people to use their personal budgets to fund sport and other healthy activities, making them part of a weekly routine, and connects people with their local Disabled Person Led User Organisations (DPLUOs). It can be very difficult for people with disabilities to get involved in sport, but clear instructions are provided – just follow the ‘paths‘!
Helpific is based in Estonia, and creates a platform to connect people who have particular needs with those that can help them. This help can take any forms, including teaching skills, picking out clothes, helping with public speaking events or just being a friend. This encourages a positive view of disability, emphasising that young people with disabilities are interested in the same things- books, politics, clubbing (!)- as their able-bodied counter parts, and moves away from more clinical based care. Find out more about their installation Life Without Borders , or check out their offers and requests for help (sign in required).
N.B Unfortunately, not all of their website is available in English
This is a recent campaign run by the National Autistic Society, which aims to raise awareness of how it feels to be on the Autism Spectrum. A common feature of autism is sensory overload, which can make accessing public spaces impossible. To explain, the NAS have created a unique Virtual Reality experience emulating a busy shopping centre- can you make it to the end? The campaign also features help and advice on how to help someone having a meltdown, and encourages businesses to make autism friendly spaces- the Intu group and public libraries have already signed up. See more here.
Thanks for reading, please use the comment section to let me know what you would like me to feature next week! Until then, please keep making submissions and help us #halvethegap. Please also note I am not affiliated with any of the organisations featured. All thoughts are my own and do not represent those of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Disability or Disability Rights UK.