Learning Disability Awareness Training


A few weeks ago we had our first Learning Disability Awareness Training day at our offices next to London Bridge. We have done training in other parts of the country but it was exciting to have the training at our actual base. Our training is very interactive over one day for anyone working in a customer-facing environment and any organisation that wishes to ensure that their services are accessible and inclusive for all people.

The training aims to increase understanding about people with a learning disability (including those with autistic spectrum disorders) including the cause and range of disabilities. During the day we talked about the differences between people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health problems. We also talked about ways to communicate with people who may or may not use verbal language. Through exercises and DVD clips we helped people to understand the key day to day issues facing people with learning disabilities and how best to support them and their families and carers.

One of the exercises that people enjoyed doing was to compare our typical week with someone learning disability through the use of a case study. We learned that people without learning disabilities tend to be busier, less isolated and have much control over their lives as compared with people with learning disabilities. I am lucky because I have a job – it keeps me busy and in contact with lots of people. If I didn’t have a job I would be sad because I would be at home doing nothing.

Eight people attended and they included opticians, a housing officer, and an administrator for a self-advocacy group. They all found out more about how to support or work with learning disabilities. My colleague Jill Davies and myself ran the training session. I particularly enjoyed talking to the group about my life and how I got my job. I spoke about my route into work – it included my education, work experience, the influence of my family on why I wanted to get a job and I also told the participants about what I do in my job. It went well and it made me happy to talk about my experience.

The next awareness training day will be on Friday 6th June 2014, which is my birthday.  If you want to come along please contact my colleague Kate Ball at [email protected]. For more information please see the flyer about the training.