Learning Disability England Annual Conference 2021


One Year On: Staying Strong, Getting Stronger


It will be just over a year since our last conference in Manchester and almost a year since the country first locked down because of coronavirus.

It has been a year like no other.



This year’s conference will focus on members and partners sharing examples what they have learnt and how they are working in creative and inclusive ways: 

  • How we as a community can stay strong through the rest of this pandemic
  • How we continue to get stronger as the country comes out of it
  • How we will work together to not let the inequalities continue unchallenged or unchanged

When is the conference?

The conference will take place online on 9th, 10th and 11th March 2021.

There will be 2 sessions each day. One in the morning from 10am – 12noon. And one in the afternoon 1.30pm – 3.30pm.


There will also be a lunchtime chill and chat each day, so you can talk to other members while having your lunch or a cuppa.

This will be at 12.30pm – 1pm each day.


An illustration of the three groups that make up Learning Disability EnglandMost of the sessions will primarily be for members.

People with learning disabilities, family members, allies and paid supporters will be able to join any session.


If you are an individual member of Learning Disability England, you can book your place on as many sessions as you want to.

If you are an organisational member you have the following number of places at every session:

Full organisational members:   40

Basic organisational members:  20

Self Advocacy and Family/Carer Group members:   8


We know some sessions will be more of interest to some people than others.



What are the sessions? 

Tuesday 9th – 10am to 12pm 

‘One Year On: Our experiences and stories from the last year’

Everyone is welcome to join this session. People will share their experiences from the last year and key messages for us to build on as a community in staying strong and getting stronger.

The speakers include self advocates, paid supporters, family members and partners or allies.

Tuesday 9th – 1.30pm-2.30pm 

‘Made Possible: stories of success by people with learning disabilities – in their own words’

Here you can join a conversation between the book’s editor Saba Salman and two contributors, athlete and fitness coach Dan Pepper and self-advocate and LDE co-founder Gary Bourlet.

Then the ProActive community group members will share their film on changes, new skills and hope. They will ask us all to think about what we will do to build on what we have learnt.

Wednesday 10th – 10am to 12pm

‘So… what’s Changed?’

This will focus on what organisations and systems can do to be accountable and really learn from what goes wrong.

Fiona Ritchie will present and will be sharing her ideas on what we can learn from the past year.

Local Area Coordination Network members will share stories of system change with Nick Sinclair from the LAC network


Wednesday 10th – 1.30pm-3.30pm

‘Being seen, being heard’

Open Story Tellers will share how telling our stories make us stronger and how important it is to be your own authentic self instead of what other people say you should be like.

They will also explain how having a life story helps others understand you if you can’t tell them.

Thursday 11th – 10am to 12pm

‘The Human Rights Act now and next – why it matters for us all’

Here you can hear Sanchita Hosali from The British Institute of Human Rights explain more about their Human Rights Act campaign and how you can be involved through social media and more.

This session will focus on human rights and learning disabilities, using real life examples.

Thursday 11th – 1.30pm-3.30pm

‘Staying Strong and getting stronger’

The session will look at how we can build on those despite all the challenges of Coronavirus.

We will hear from members and partners who have been working on housing choices, making self advocacy stronger and social care 

 After the short presentations you can get involved and share your work or ideas for staying strong and getting stronger 

Speakers introducing ideas include

Finding your own way home – Ian Copeman, Housing LIN   

Social Care future – Scott Watkin, Inquiry member 

Self Advocacy Filling the gaps – Shaun Pickern, Liz Tilley from the Open University and members of Ace Anglia  

How can I find out about the speakers?

Here you can find more information about the speakers and organisations that are taking part in the conference.

You can also find their social media information and links to their websites to find out more.


How do I book?

Here is a link to sign up for the conference.

When you sign up you will be asked which sessions you want to come to.

You will need to book a ticket for each session you want to attend.

You will then receive an email confirming you booked on to each session. We will send you a zoom link for each session closer to the time.

Please get in touch by email: LDEConference21@LDEngland.org.uk or by phone on 03001110444 if you need any help with booking.

How do I become a member of Learning Disability England?

Learning Disability England is England’s only national movement where people with learning disabilities, families, friends and people that work in services come together on an equal basis to work for people with learning disabilities having good lives with equal choices and opportunities as others.

Membership starts from only £12 a year for individuals.

Find out more and join today!

What if I have any questions?


Contact us by email on LDEConference21@ldengland.org.uk 



Or phone us on 0300 111 0444.