A group of young people with learning disabilities in Orpington have launched a poster campaign urging the public to not treat those with disabilities differently.
The group’s core message is to treat people with disabilities as you would want to be treated, according to Holly Pace, who leads the group.
To get the poster campaign off the ground, Pace and her group, with the support of Sanctuary Group, teamed up with Fixers, a charity that supports young people and those with disabilities to ‘fix the future’ on any issue that matters to them, however they choose.
The group, who live in supported accommodation, managed by Sanctuary Supported Living part of Sanctuary Group, all have learning disabilities and some of them use wheelchairs.
Pace, 26, who has physical and learning disabilities, said: “I feel like people aren’t aware of the right way to treat those with disabilities so we wanted to change that. I don’t think people understand what it’s like to be disabled.”
With Fixers’ support the group have created three posters that show members of the team doing something they enjoy, such as listening to music or painting to show that those with disabilities are just like those without.
The posters are on display in an empty shop unit at The Walnuts Shopping Centre in Orpington, which has a footfall of 10,000 people a week, until May 9.
“The posters show what we like to do and what makes us happy and that we are no different from anyone else,” added Pace
Each member of the group has had negative experiences which they believe to be as a result of able-bodied people being ignorant of their disabilities. Pace feels most strongly about being interrupted. She wants others to understand that they need to be patient and give her the time she needs to say what she wants to say.
“I think the posters will work and will make people aware of disabilities,” she said. “I hope they will understand more about what it’s like to have a disability and change the way people act around us and treat us.”