Using our voice, making our choice – A Guest Blog by Scott Watkin, BEM.

Scott Watkin BEM, is Head of Engagement at SeeAbility and Co-Chair of Learning Disability England’s Representative Body.

“When I was younger it was really positive to have a government strategy for people with learning disabilities. It gave us all something to focus on. We were all moving in the same direction. We have lost that focus and direction over many years.
But the good news is the Good Lives Manifesto is there to help us all to change that!

I’m so pleased to have been helping Learning Disability England these past few months with the Good Lives Manifesto. Its six key pledges explain to politicians and the public the issues that matter most to people with learning disabilities.

But now the hard work really starts!

We suddenly only have a few weeks to use the manifesto to tell people standing for election what needs to change for people with learning disabilities.

At SeeAbility I am planning to use the manifesto in three different ways.

1: As a person with a learning disability I am going to send it on to the different candidates in my area. I’ve put in my postcode on and that tells me who is standing for the different parties and how to get in touch with them.

2: At SeeAbility, I manage the Listen Up! Team who all have lived experience of learning disability, autism and sight loss. We are going to be blogging all about the six key asks in the manifesto and why they are so important and using our voices to speak up in this important election year.

3: SeeAbility is also a member of Learning Disability England as provider of support services. Everyone at SeeAbility is looking at how we can support people to vote in this general election using all the great resources there are from Learning Disability England and My Vote My Voice. We’re making sure everyone has a copy of the manifesto and asking candidates to pledge support.

I think the manifesto is brilliant, but it’s not just for this election. Whatever the result, we will be using it to talk to MPs and Ministers about what matters most to us.

Let’s make our voice heard, so the priorities of people with learning disabilities are always at the top of the agenda.