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London with Kerry

Hi readers, it’s just me, Kerry here this week, following up on my column last week.


It was interesting for me to travel in London again. I used to go up there quite a lot, when I was co-chair of the National Forum. This was funded by the Department of Health (DoH), made up of individuals with a learning disability.


We were elected by members of Regional Forums around the country. Our role was to represent people with a learning disability from our region.  We would be consulted in all sorts of important matters, including White Papers and even a review on the terrible abuse at Winterborne View, you may have seen on Panorama.


Sadly, the Department of Health pulled the funding some years ago on the National Forum. I think it’s a real shame as it was a proactive, dynamic and successful platform where the views of people with a learning disability could be truly heard and valued in England.


It has always been hard for people with learning disabilities to have their views and thoughts shared in a meaningful way, so it was a good step forward. Now it’s harder than ever, and why self-advocacy groups, like we run at People First Dorset, are so important.


What I wanted to write about though was how hard it was to travel around London in a wheelchair. I might share this in next week’s column, but for now, if any town or city planners are reading, imagine being in a wheelchair and trying to get around your area. Even better, use a wheelchair for a bit and see what it feels like. While money doesn’t grow on trees for making everywhere accessible, it was surprising how bad it was in London, and it put me off going again.





The writers of the Our View column are supported in their editing by People First Dorset - a charity led and run by people with learning disabilities with support from staff


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