Get started

You can start to make a difference in your community in small ways and, you never know, it might lead to something bigger.

A few thoughts to get you started...

Make contact with experienced people

Make contact with people who are experienced at mixed abilities socialising e.g. inclusive theatre and dance groups; SEN teachers and assistants in schools; people with learning disabilities who work or volunteer in your community; those who work as personal assistants. You can learn a lot from watching those who are already confident at mixing

Look for places

Look for places potentially attended by both people with and without learning disabilities e.g. arts or other community groups, places of worship. Is there good mixing between people of all abilities? If not, what could you do to encourage it?

Find some friends

Find some friends – with and without learning disabilities – and talk about what you would like to do socially together, e.g. bowling, arts and crafts, cooking, keep fit, martial arts. Get everyone involved in the planning – do it with not for each other

Start a regular activity

If you’d like to start a regular activity, how about finding a local café or other small venue where you can meet. If you’re visible to passers-by you might find others joining you – and in the meantime you’re showing what inclusion looks like

There will be barriers...

Lack of awareness

People don't realise the need or possibility

Vulnerability avoidance

People think it's not for them

Unpredictability

People don't know what to do

Lack of language

People don't know what to say

But they can be overcome

Do things together

Do things with not for each other and make space for everyone's input to be treated equally

Take your time and keep going

Set aside your expectations and be patient. Push through initial discomfort or anxiety

Relax

Don’t worry about saying or doing the wrong thing, be flexible and don't beat yourself up if things don't go to plan

Have fun!

Include your friends and focus on having fun and making it easy for others to join in

If you’d like to talk with others about your ideas please connect with us