This video was produced as part of the "Hear My Voice" campaign created by Mencap, an organization based in the United Kingdom that supports persons with learning disabilities. In advance of the 2015 elections in the U.K., the campaign sought to increase awareness amongst political parties and candidates about the issues that citizens with learning disabilities would like to see changes on.
Woman (Sara Pickard): My name is Sara Pickard. I work for Mencap Cymru on a project that delivers training to young people with learning disabilities. I care a lot for politics because being the main focus of what I talk about in my training sessions with the Inspire Me project with Mencap – a lot of it is about how politics can affect everyday life. Politics is around you. You may not know it, but without expressing views, without putting a vote on a ballot paper and put it in a box, as simple as that sounds, you are making a massive difference in the way you live your life.
People need to be a bit more less apathetic towards politics, because at the end of the day, we live in a world of politics, all the time, yet so many young people hear the world “politics” and automatically switch off. I became a community counselor, again the fact that I practice what I preach. I think the fact that I talk about how being represented is really important for the young people today, and especially those who have learning disabilities. They can feel slightly as if they are ignored in society.
I think I would probably say to the future MP, “Just listen carefully to what young people with disabilities say to you, because at the end of the day you’ve got to take your time and be patient with people, because people who have got learning disabilities may also have some issues around how they communicate.” It’s those people who’ve got learning disabilities as well that have also got really good points to raise. For a lot of people who haven’t got disabilities, they can easily tell people like MPs and AMs exactly what they think about things in society, but so can other people with disabilities, they just need to know that there are people out there who can actually help them to do that. I think it’s important that I’m here to represent this group of people in society and not to ignore us. We are part of that society for a good reason.
Narrator: In May 2015, our votes will help decide who runs our country for the next 5 years. Let’s make sure learning disability is firmly on their agenda. My voice counts. Yours does too.
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