Self-advocacy has changed many lives

In the early days of the self-advocacy movement “learning
difficulty was a dirty word” according to Carlisle People First
member Lou Townson.

She told the conference: “It was a case of put them in hospital and
forget about them.” But she added that self-advocacy had changed a
lot of people’s lives. “Some people were frightened to speak out
but once you start you don’t look back,” she declared to loud

Later, one of the 125 delegates from Japan said the human rights
record for people with a learning difficulty in his country was

“I have been oppressed… I have been talking to the city
government and officials but they haven’t been listening to what I
have to say. I need advice. Can people help?”

Townson responded: “Just keep at them and at them until they do
start to listen.”

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