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Learning Disability Week blog: Seeing beyond the disability: Embracing individuality and potential

Blog by Lindsay Henderson, Head of Communities at Your Voice Counts


Welcome to Learning Disability Week 2024! This year, the theme "Do You See Me?" encourages us to look beyond labels and see the person behind the learning disability. At Your Voice Counts, we are thrilled to participate in this important week, dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating the valuable contributions people with learning disabilities bring to our society; both in the workplace and their community.


"Do You See Me?"


Asking “Do you see me?” challenges us to recognise and appreciate the talents, individuality and potential of people with learning disabilities. It's about seeing the whole person, not just their disability, and raising awareness is a key step towards greater understanding and inclusion. This theme calls for a shift in perspective, urging everyone to acknowledge the diverse abilities, aspirations, and achievements of individuals with learning disabilities and challenge themselves to think and act differently.


Your Voice Counts exists to ensure people with a learning disability are heard, that they have choice and control over their lives and most importantly feel connected to their local community. Advocating for the rights and inclusion of individuals with learning disabilities is what we do every day, and we believe that everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and valued. We are committed to promoting visibility, breaking down barriers, and creating opportunities for true co-production and meaningful engagement because it brings such richness.


I am so proud of the work we do to support, empower and challenge people with a learning disability to ensure they live their best lives. I am equally proud to be working alongside some amazing colleagues with lived experience of learning disability, some of whom started out as people using our service. The people in these vital and much varied roles bring so much to our team, reminding us all, every day, how every single one of us has our own unique potential if given the opportunity!


I’d like to say a huge thank you to all these amazing people and to everyone who we support at YVC – we most definitely see you in all your wonderful technicolour!


Events and activities this week


To bring the theme "Do You See Me?" to life, our Communities team has organised and are taking part in a series of events and activities throughout Gateshead and South Tyneside. Visit Out and about during Learning Disability Week 2024 (yvc.org.uk) for all the info.


We invite everyone to join us in celebrating Learning Disability Week 2024. Let’s come together to see, hear, and value each person for who they truly are and make this week a transformative and inclusive celebration that results in people with a learning disability never having to ask “Do you see me?” in future!


Lindsay sitting with her laptop
Lindsay Henderson, Your Voice Counts


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