When I signed up to speak at this year’s World Congress honestly I knew little of what to expect apart from it being a conference for self advocates of people with a learning disability and that attendees would be coming from a all over the world.
I’ve spent the last three days listening to stories from around the globe covering issues that sometimes could have come from down my street and others thankfully don’t exist within the UK anymore. I’ve been humbled at the strength and passion of each speaker often speaking in a second language and the lives that they have lead. I’m encouraged that while there’s still a long way to go for true inclusion for those with a learning disability into our community, massive progress has been made and that’s there’s a real determination to continue.
The calls to action made by the self advocates are ones we’ve all wanted: education, belonging, jobs, families and safety.
It’s been brilliant as well being able to support other local speakers like Carrickfergus Senior Gateway speaking about LD Pride, the Strule Buzz Group over as self advocates and Joanne Sweeney from Mencap NI highlighting the work done at the Children’s Centre. My own session on using technology as a platform for your voice was really well received (slides available at https://www.slideshare.net/kievia/finding-your-voice-a-platform).
For the sessions I attended I’ve live tweeted each of them under the hashtag #LearnInspireLead and our Twitter account CarrickJuniorGateway so you’ll be able to find them all.
I return home so fired up on how to magnify the voices of our members and join the global conversation that is happening all around us. Please get in touch and join the conversation also.