Big Society, Disability and Civil Society Research

Website for ESRC research project 'Big Society? Disabled People with Learning Disabilities and Civil Society'

How has self advocacy helped you or other people?

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It has given me job experience and more understanding of other people, it has given me more confidence. I have got good I.T. skills and I have had a chance to use my skills. I am also a trainer for My Health and I’m A Person Too which are training courses to train doctors, nurses, the job centre, the police, receptionists and students how to work with people with a learning disability and/or autism. I have been involved in acting in some of the DVDs Speakup has made, these DVDs help people to make decisions and show them how to cope with challenges in life. I am a vice chair of the Speakup for Autism group which supports people with autism and works with students from Sheffield Hallam University to research different ways to help people with autism. I am also a committee member at Speakup where we make decisions about the organisation and I also type the minutes. (James)

Being a self advocate has gave me more confidence at meeting new people and helped me get a job and also live on my own (Adam).

Being a self advocate has gave me more confidence to travel independently before coming to my advocacy group, i was not aware of road safety. I am now much better at this bus stop incident (Antony).

Being a self advocate has helped me to have the confidence to speak up for myself. I was walking round Tesco and security guard was following me around the shop. Someone who works at Tesco came up to me and started to question what is in my bag. I felt like he was accusing me of stealing. I explained to him this has happened several occasions. I feel discriminated against (Glen).

Being a self advocate has helped me to be more independent and give me more confidence to travel to new places on my own before travelling would make me feel really anxious. I have learnt since coming to my advocacy group to manage my money better and pay my bills (Emma).

Being a self advocate has helped me to asking for advice when you receive jargon information for e.g. letters i get i tell my self advocacy group to reassure me or help me understand (Shelley).

Being a self advocate and coming to the self advocacy group has helped me with my social skills and speak more clearly. I have also improved on my writing skills (Sharlene).

Coming to my advocacy group has helped be to have more confidence in my ability to live on my own, and be a part of the community. My roles within the Partnership Board, Scrutiny Panel and Inspection work has allowed me to speak up for others on their behalf. I have also been involved in interviewing professionals and making sure they understand about disabilities (Robert).

Being a self advocate has made me more confident in new things. I have more friends than i had at school and college. Since i came to Speakup, i have done things that i have never dreamed of doing like being an inspector for the CQC and being a representative/trainer for different projects. I enjoy my work and I hope to continue with it in the future. I am also the project lead for Healthy Surfers which is a project to train people on how to use a computer safely and look up health information about ourselves or our families. I am also a trainer for I’m A Person Too which is a training project to train doctors, nurses, the job centre, the police, receptionists and students how to work with people with a learning disability and/or autism. (Jodie).

It has given me more confidence with reading and with computers. It has helped me to speak up at meetings. I have learnt how to work out how to know the right change when I pay for things. I have learnt how to plan journeys. I am an CQC inspector and I feel proud and I’m able to help people to speak up for themselves if they can not speak up for themselves. It has also helped me to be a better parent and to be able to do parenting training to other people who are wanting to become parents themselves. I am also the project lead for Healthy Surfers and a trainer for I’m A Person Too. (Vicky).

It has given me more confidence to speak in meetings and taught me how to support people. It has helped me to learn new skills like reading, writing and computer skills. It has given me a job and taught me how to do online banking. I have learnt a bit about travel timetables. It has helped me in times of crisis. I am the Regional Rep for the Yorkshire and Humber Forum for people with leaning disabilities and I sit on the National Forum for people with a learning disability and it’s given me more confidence to talk with a group of people who I don’t know. When my mum died with just a bit of support from my advocacy group I organised my mum’s funeral and also a minibus to Blackpool to scatter her ashes, my family thought I was a very strong sister and auntie. I am a member of the Think Local Act Personal group and I co chair the partnership board. I am also a trainer for I’m A Person Too which is a training project to train doctors, nurses, the job centre, the police, receptionists and students how to work with people with a learning disability and/or autism. I am also chair of person centred planning and I made three DVDs called “It’s my Life”, “It’s Still my Life” and “It’s Still Your Life” and these DVDs help people with learning disabilities and/or autism and also help to train students and health and social care workers in person centred planning. I am a committee member with 11 of my colleagues and I sit on the health sub group. (Alison)

At my advocacy group I am a trustee, caretaker and a key holder, I open up the building in the morning. I am on the committee and I do the banking. I am a leader and support people to go to the regional forum. My advocacy group has made me go forward, helped me to budget, helped me to move house. I help to sign off the Speakup accounts, this has made me feel proud. (Roy)

What Advocacy has done for me, its given me confidence and the ability to make new friends/colleagues.  It has also given more experience in the work place to enable me to get a job in the future.

I am also a trainer for I am a person too, we have trained doctors, police, nurses. receptionists, students. 

Doing this training has helped me no end as i have grown in confidence with my communication skills .

I have also acted in a Budgeting DVD, as my mum was poorly for some time so i had to take over some chores.

I am also a committee member and a Trustee but i am new to this.

(Kerry) 

What Advocacy has done for me  –  I have only been here for six weeks

I have made new friends.

I have acted in Tenancy DVD and one about Banking.   I gained more confidence in speaking to people.

(Shaun) 

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