Summer smiling in the sun

Summer’s story – getting involved in inclusion

Hi, I’m Summer Dickens and I take part in the Listen Up programme at SeeAbility! 

The Listen Up programme is run by people that SeeAbility support, led by Scott Watkin BEM, who has a learning disability and lots of experience in campaigning and self-advocacy. Together we campaign for change for people who have learning disabilities, autism and sight loss. 

I became involved in SeeAbility’s engagement work after going to SeeAbility’s annual meeting in September 2022. I was interested in using my lived experience to help SeeAbility a little bit more. I spoke to Scott on the day and he got in touch with me, asking if I wanted to join the team!  

I’ve been supported by a SeeAbility service for six years. I wanted to do something to give back to my community and the world outside.  

My favourite thing about being part of the team is taking part in meetings and events on Teams and in-person. I’ve also really enjoyed interviewing people who have applied for jobs at SeeAbility, like the recently appointed Head of People Operations. Being a part of the recruitment process is so important to people like me as it means we have control over who supports us. 

I care most about equal opportunities for people and for people not to be discriminated against. I also want to make health care providers aware of our needs and what we do or don’t like. If I can impact this in any way it could not only make my experiences a lot easier, but many others too. I know that disabled people can feel anxious when accessing healthcare services and I want to make this better. I’d feel a lot less anxious if more people understood my needs. 

I hope to promote positive change for people like me and I’d love to help improve other people’s quality of life. 

I enjoy working with the other members of the team so much. I am so looking forward to whatever comes next!