Greg beams as he drives his wheelchair around outside

#LDWeek2021 – How our Associates live well

Learning Disability Week 2021 is here and it gives us the opportunity to find out more about SeeAbility’s Associates and how they live well.

The SeeAbility Associates Emily, Gabby, Greg, Mark, Joanne and Benny all have lived experience of different disabilities, including learning disabilities. They all advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, calling on companies, decision makers in government and society in general to help make inclusion a reality.

As part of SeeAbility’s Big Conversation, starting on 1 July, and Learning Disability Week 2021, we asked our Associates:

“What do you need in your life to be happy and fulfilled?”

Greg answered:

"To be able to have help and support with my own mental health and to be able go out to football and cricket."

Being outdoors is important to Greg and he enjoys going to watch sport, both things he’s not been able to do very much for the past year. No doubt, he’ll be looking forward to watching the Euro 2020 football competition over the coming month!

Gabby answered:

"Having a full time paid job."

According to the Office of National Statistics, only three in ten people with learning disabilities who want to work are in employment. For many with disabilities, including Gabby, the ability to work and fulfil their potential is the key to living well, but more needs to be done to close the employment gap. Supported employment programmes like our Ready, Willing and Able programme are seeking to do this by working with employers and participants to realise the benefits of being more inclusive.

Emily answered:

"Being able to work well as a team or good communication and support."

As SeeAbility’s first influencer with lived experience, Emily has been making connections with MPs to ensure that everyone is heard. She says it’s important for people to know how you feel and what you’re thinking. Read more about Emily's work.

Joanne answered:

"Having friends, going out socialising, playing games, arts and crafts. Going for coffee and out to restaurants. Doing my associate role. Having a fiancée."

Learning Disability Week 2021 is all about celebrating arts and creativity. For people with learning disabilities, like Joanne, being creative is important part of living well, offering opportunities to socialise and ways to express themselves.

What do you need to live well? Join the Big Conversation on Twitter and Facebook from July 1 and share your stories of creativity with us! Make sure you use our hashtag #SABigConversation