Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

7.1 Improving health and wellbeing

In the next video, Cian explains how he overcame his mental ill health and overeating.

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Transcript: Video 3

CIAN
I left college with no qualifications whatsoever, with nothing, and it was awful. And then after that, I experienced serious mental health problems. I got very violent and I at one point attacked a friend of mine, which I really regret. But I was in such a bad place. I got very violent there, and yeah, that was really bad.
But five years later, I went to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. A course, at Central School, run by Access All Areas, a special course for people with learning disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, et cetera. And I did the course and long story short, I am now a freelance actor and it's all because of Access All Areas.
And I really wish to God that I knew about Access All Areas sooner. Because back then, I thought that I would have nothing. And I thought, I'll be lucky if I get a job in a shop stacking shelves. I really felt like I had nothing going for me.
End transcript: Video 3
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Cian explained that things changed for him when he discovered Access All Areas, a drama group for people with learning disabilities and autism. It is perhaps a paradox that at a time when inclusion is viewed as so important, organisations specifically for people with learning disabilities and their families are necessary.

Activity 5 Pedal Power an organisation for people with learning disabilities and their families

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes

Some people believe that special activities for people with learning disabilities and their families are part of a discredited past, when people with learning disabilities were shut away. Watch this video about Pedal Power, a social activity for people with learning disabilities and their families. Then respond to the poll at the link that follows.

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Transcript: Video 4

[MUSIC PLAYING]
JO ROACH
Pedal Power’s a cycling club for people with learning disabilities. It's just all about freedom, learning to be with other people. They're learning a skill. They improve their cycling.
It's fantastic. But as a spin-off from it, we've got parents cycling, we've got parents chatting to each other. They're supporting each other. They're passing on really useful information. It's a really understanding group because we've all been through it.
End transcript: Video 4
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Link: Specialist organisations [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Once you have submitted your choice you can then see how others have voted.

Segregated or special services and activities remain controversial, but there is plenty of evidence that in a world where not everyone is equal, organisations and events specifically for people with learning disabilities have an important part to play in promoting a sense of wellbeing and combatting loneliness.

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