An open letter to the producers of Emmerdale…
Some members of Learning Disability England have got in touch about the storyline on Emmerdale about Laurel and Jai being told they will have a baby with Down’s Syndrome.
They told us how this story is making them feel scared and angry. We understand why and know many people feel the same. We support the action people with Down’s Syndrome and their families are taking to make sure they are heard and a wider perspective understood.
We know people with Down’s Syndrome who are glad they are here. We know families of people with Down’s Syndrome who are glad their children are here.
WE are glad they are here, we are glad YOU are here. The world is better when everyone belongs here.
We support all efforts to make inclusion real and regularly revisit the values of inclusion to challenge ourselves. We welcome us all being challenged on these values and how we live them in a world that is often not welcoming of difference.
People with Down’s Syndrome, like other people with learning disabilities, still often experience discrimination and different treatment. This is even though we have laws that say it should not happen.
At Learning Disability England we are trying hard to be part of changing the attitudes and culture that lead to inequality, alongside people with learning disabilities, their families and paid supporters and organisations.
We urge the producers and writers of Emmerdale to properly engage with people with Down’s Syndrome to understand what this story has meant to them and how they can help others understand what this means to them, their families and allies.
We know the Down’s Syndrome Association confidential helpline has been busier recently but it is there to listen to families who have had a prenatal diagnosis of Down’s syndrome, as well as people with Down’s Syndrome and their families.
From The Representative Body
Learning Disability England