Mencap has laid out a vision for equality for disabled people as part of a new identity for the charity, launched today.
In her foreword to today’s manifesto, Making rights a reality, chief executive Jo Williams says the charity intends to “speak with an even stronger voice” in partnership with people with learning disabilities to deliver equal rights and an end to discrimination.
The manifesto lays out nine key priorities for the group: to be equal citizens with choice and control over their lives; to have a childhood like any other child; to get the support they need to live independently; to be supported to get a job; to lead a fulfilling life; to have good healthcare; to have the money to do what they want; to have the opportunity to make friends; to form relationships and enjoy family life.
Bullied, unemployed and without a secure home
It lays out the the realities facing people with learning disabilities today: one in three people with a learning disability work, despite two-thirds wanting to; nine in ten have been bullied; 15% have a secure long-term tenancy or their own home; and three-quarters of GPs have received no training to help them treat people with a learning disability.
Williams said: “Our challenge now is to move forward, so that people with a learning disability have a chance to lead the kind of lives they want – be it ordinary or extraordinary. We can only achieve this if the whole learning disability community comes together – and Mencap is prepared and ready to provide leadership so that everyone with a learning disability gets the support they need.”
Mencap also published today the results of a survey revealing widespread public ignorance about what constitutes a learning disability.
The charity has also developed a new logo and website, which will use a new font designed by people with learning disabilities, as will all of Mencap’s publications.