So, 99% of the population can't name a high-profile person in the media with a learning disability, according to an Ipsos MORI poll for Mencap - and I'm not surprised. Think about it; apart from singer Susan Boyle, there are very few people with learning disabilities in the public eye. Obviously people with learning disabilities or who work in the sector will be able to name more - Scott Watkin, former co-national director for learning disabilities and punk band Heavy Load, which features members with and without learning disabilities spring to mind - but then you would expect that. But would your average bloke in the street be able to name them? Perhaps not. As Mencap's chief executive Mark Goldring says; "people with disabilities are under-represented in the media and in public life and people with a learning disability are particularly invisible in UK society." Goldring goes on to call for more positive role models in the media and in public life to help remove the stigma associated with disability and to encourage a shift in public perception to enable people with a disability to be treated equally in society. He's right. But how to address this? Perhaps it is time for one of the major soaps to introduce a regular character with learning disabilities. Admittedly, EastEnders has had a character with Down's syndrome, Janet Mitchell, daughter of Billy Mitchell, for some years. The storyline of her birth, and her parents' acceptance of her, continued for some months, and won praise for helping to raise awareness. But Janet now only rarely appears. Meanwhile, Hollyoaks did have a character with learning disabilities, Spencer Gray, for a couple of years, but he was axed in 2010. Also, the actor who played him did not have a learning disability. Other than that, characters with learning disabilities are thin on the ground. This needs to change because TV soaps can help to break down stigma and educate viewers on issues. For example, the Stacey Slater bipolar storyline in EastEnders - which showed the character gradually develop the condition before being sectioned, followed by her recovery and learning to live with it - helped to bring the condition into the public eye. Indeed, at the time MDF The Bipolar Organisation said the number of young people calling its helpline doubled in 6 months, mainly down to the storyline. It demonstrates the power soaps have. I reckon that seeing a regular character with learning disabilities - played by someone with learning disabilities - in everyday situations and with realistic storylines could help to improve understanding and reduce stigma among the general public. Plus, it would give an opportunity to highlight other issues, such as disability hate crime, which are also largely hidden. Soap executives often talk about how they like to tackle issues and push boundaries; which one will go for this?