Hear My Voice
In the last two generations huge progress has been made for people with a learning disability and their families in the way they live and are regarded by society. In the 1950s many people with a learning disability lived in large Victorian ‘hospitals’ segregated from the rest of society, either in the isolated countryside or behind high walls in towns. We have moved on a great deal since the last of those institutions were closed in the 1990s, but we still have a long way to go until people with a learning disability have the same life opportunities as other people.
The 2015 General Election and other elections since have given people with a learning disability the opportunity to vote and make their voice heard.
The Hear My Voice campaign gave people with a learning disability and their families a chance to tell politicians and our future leaders about the issues that make it very difficult for them to live their lives like everyone else.
Reading Mencap launched the Reading HMV campaign on 26th January 2015 and began by inviting the local Reading MPs and Councillors to a series of events to listen and understand exactly what those issues are.
The work now continues each year with a new project launched during Learning Disability week around issues chosen by the campaigners themselves.
In 2016 we helped members to understand about voting in the EU referendum. In 2017 we will launch the second year of work on an Learning Disability Health project, ‘Getting it Right in Reading’ to bring the issue of life-threatening health inequalities to the attention of the people who need to know.
Our campaigns are led by the members of our long-running Coffee Club, who are all adults with learning disabilities aged from 18 to 80.