John Keavney Treat Me RightIn this blog, John Keavney from Treat Me Right! talks about the project and how important it is for him to be talking about it at the Learning Disability Today conference. 

I feel very good about being asked to speak about this project at the Learning Disability Today conference. I am very proud to show people what Treat Me Right! has done so far. It’s really important to me that people learn from Treat Me Right! and use our tools. A big part of our project is letting people know what we do, which is why it’s important for me and Helen, the new project manager, to speak at Learning Disability Today.

Treat Me Right! started after I was ill and I went to hospital. I finished my job in an office and I went home. When I got home, I collapsed. I went to the doctor’s surgery and I passed out. The staff at the surgery called me an ambulance and I ended up in the critical care unit. 

When I was there, the doctors didn’t talk to me nicely and it made me upset. I was in the critical care unit for nearly six months. The nurses and doctors didn’t explain what they were doing to me in a way I understood. They tried to put needles in me without saying what they were doing and I found it really upsetting. I spoke to Marianne and Elsa at Certitude, who started the project with me, when they visited me in hospital and we thought about starting the project together. We wanted to help all people with learning disabilities that went into hospital and make sure that the adjustments that they needed were there.

I’m very proud to be someone with a learning disability speaking at the conference. I think it’s good for professionals to learn directly from me.

About the author

John Keavney has been involved with Certitude’s innovative Treat Me Right! project since its inception in 2008 and is a learning disability awareness training co-ordinator. He has Down’s syndrome and uses his own negative experience in hospital to train NHS clinicians in Ealing on how best to communicate with and support people with learning disabilities when they are using medical services.