A change in our society's attitude towards people with a learning disability would be a positive change for society in general. However, we all have to work together to achieve this. It's for this reason, that during this Learning Disability Week, we want to show that a person with a learning disability can have the same firsts as anybody else. All we need now is for everyone to listen.
In 130 pages of the Autumn Statement the Chancellor covered, as he was right to do, every major public sector programme: but there was one significant omission. A programme which now costs 8% of GDP - the National Health Service. Apart from the commitment to ring-fencing there was no single line in the whole report dedicated to the NHS.
We're all aware of the challenges faced by the NHS and its staff, and how savings have made life difficult for a lot of people working in Trusts across the UK, but what doesn't really help patients and their families - which is what the NHS is there to do - is flaming, berating, scaremongering and being straight-up inappropriate on places like Twitter.
After submitting freedom of information requests to every fire service in the land I discovered that arson attacks are on the increase, more firefighters are getting injured and casualties caused by house fires are rising. Incredibly, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who has masterminded the downfall of public services across the country, has shrugged off these alarming facts. He lazily refuses to take any action to reverse the trend preferring to bury his ideologically driven head in the sand.
What we're asking for is simple. Once budgets are set, we want local authorities to clearly spell out how much money they're planning to spend on mental health, and every other aspect of social are in their area. We want them to present this information in a way which ordinary people can understand, and we want them to make it easy for people to access.
As an ex-service user I can appreciate just how much it means to have the same person, who knows you, your case and that you can trust at a time when you are vulnerable. This move to a service which bounces you from team to team dependant on risk in my opinion is nothing short of damaging to the very people the services are designed to protect and take care of.