Sunday, 27 January 2008

What kind of access do people with learning disabilities want? Part 4

Access that offers the chance to move on and progress

  • People with learning disabilities want a chance to move on in their lives and at work. They want to get better at something or to try something different or a little bit harder.

  • We need to build networks when people are young, so that relationships have the chance to progress and last over a persons’ lifetime.

Access that is the same for everyone

It can be frustrating when people with learning disabilities are given access to the spaces that other people use, like colleges, but are still not allowed to do the things that other people do.

Stories of education and employment: Darren, Drew, Wayne and Robin- Supported by Judith and Clare

Darren, Drew, Wayne and Robin wanted to tell the seminar group their experiences of education and employment. First of all they all met together in a pub one evening and shared their experiences of school, college and work. Judith and Clare helped them organize their ideas and write these down on a set of posters. They then took the posters to the seminar and used them as a starting point for telling their stories.

When talking about School these are things they liked:

Wayne: P.E, making cakes and cooking dinners
Drew: P.E & the climbing frame. BUT “When I went up the climbing frame they pulled me down because they were scared I would have a fit”. Darren: Helping out people in wheelchairs and school trips.

When talking about School these are the things they did not like:

Robin: “I cleaned my teeth at 10 p.m. I got caned. I used to get my finger strapped.”
Darren: “Locked in a classroom for an hour. Not fair”
Drew: “They made me touch a holly bush for being naughty”.

When talking about college, these are things they liked:

Darren, Drew, Wayne & Robin: “Meet people”; “have a
laugh”; “atmosphere”; “gets me out”.
Darren: Animal care
Drew: Sport, computers and cooking
Robin: Cooking and computers
Wayne: Bricklaying, painting and decorating, sport, cooking.

When talking about college, especially the social aspects, these are things they did not like:

Drew: “In the canteen, me and my friends aren’t allowed
to play music- other students are”; “I get told-end that call -other students use their phones”.
Darren: “Getting Split up in class [from girlfriend]
Drew: “Not allowed to kiss in the canteen- students my teachers don’t know get away with it”.

When talking of employment everyone agreed that they would like to have a paid job, but that it was difficult to get paid work:

Wayne:: All the money is good. I can leave it in the bank or buy clothes or games for my Play Station.
Darren: Doing work experience has to be something you enjoy
Robin: I’d like a job in Tesco- get paid and put the money in my bank account.

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