Call for better inclusion of people with learning disabilities

Services and charities for people with learning disabilities have organised a week-long showcase to have the community 'seen and heard by wider society'.

Events are taking place across Jersey for Learning Disability Awareness Week. 

Health and Community Services Learning Disability Service has partnered with Autism Jersey, Beresford Street Kitchen, Enable Jersey, Les Amis, Healing Waves, Wet Wheels and Cycles Without Limits.

  • Monday 17 June, 9.30am - 4.30pm - there will be a pop-up stall on King Street giving out information about the Learning Disability Service. Les Amis choir will be joining the stall at 12.30pm to sing for the public. The disability charity Enable and Jersey Sport's Cycle Without Limits will also be joining the stand later that afternoon.
  • Tuesday 18 June, 10am - 2.30pm - the Learning Disability Service will be putting up a similar stall at the Enid Quenault Heath and Wellbeing Centre at Les Quennevais showcasing how it supports those with communication difficulties.
  • Wednesday 19 June, 9am - 11.30am - adults with learning disabilities will be joining pupils at Haute Vallee school for a joint art class.
  • Friday 21 June, between 9.30am - 4.30pm, the Learning Disability Service will be back on King Street with a pop-up stall. They'll be joined again by Les Amis choir at 12.30pm to sing to islanders passing by. Autism Jersey, Beresford Street Kitchen and Healing Waves will join the stand later that afternoon.

Beresford Street Kitchen

Robert Gardner, Head of the Learning Disability Service, says this is the time to bring people with learning disabilities to the fore: 

“Learning Disability Awareness Week is an important time for people with a learning disability to be seen and heard by wider society.

"We hope to celebrate all that is on offer to people with a learning disability in Jersey, by showcasing the way the Learning Disability Service works with charities and care providers who support people with a learning disability across the island.”

Information from the pop-up stall on King Street

Leslie Norman is the former Chairman of Les Amis, recently named in the King's Honours List for his work with those in Jersey with learning disabilities. 

READ MORE: Four islanders named in King's Birthday Honours List. 

He hopes this week will lead to changing attitudes in the island: 

"Raising awareness is so important because I think sometimes people don't understand the difficulties that people with a learning disability can experience. 

"A lot of companies over here are very good at providing work, but there could be more. 

"I think a lot of businesses here don't realise the massive benefits staff with learning disabilities can have in particular roles, and I think this week will help people think about it more than they have done in the past.

"Also, from a living in the community basis, It's very important that people with learning disabilities live among the community and are seen as members of our society. 

"The more we make people aware of the issues, the more accepting they're going to be when they meet people in the community in this way."

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