The new campaign is about empowering people with a learning disability and their families to make sure their voices are heard by their local MPs and candidates in the lead up to the May 2015 General Election.
There are 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK but many feel they are not listened to by those in power and the issues they that are important to them – like hate crime, better healthcare and education – are often not talked about.
MPs showed their support by signing-up to say, “I’m listening”, on the new campaign website: www.hear-my-voice-org-uk
Through the campaign website, people with a learning disability and their families are given a space to share their experiences with their local MP and, in return, MPs and candidates are able to show their support by signing up to say they are listening.
MPs also received a copy of the Mencap Manifesto, which contained the issues that matter most to people with a learning disability and their families and on which they want to see action from the next UK government. These include improving healthcare for people with a learning disability, ending disability hate crime and improving support in education.
The event opened with a speech from Mencap President, Lord Brian Rix, who called on all MPs and future candidates to listen to what matters to people with a learning disability and their families. Further speeches were given by 19-year-old Mencap Young Ambassador, Aaron, and siblings Jonathan and Jayne Ridd who lost their brother whilst in NHS care.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“People with a learning disability and their families are as much a part of our society as anyone else and deserve to have their voices heard on the issues that matter to them.
“I am listening and I hope that many more MPs and potential candidates will do the same by getting on board with Mencap’s Hear my voice campaign.”
Mencap President, Lord Brian Rix, said:
“There are 1.4 million people in the UK with a learning disability and 6 million more family members and carers connected to them. However they often tell us they feel they are not listened to by politicians and subsequently many of the challenges they face go unheard and unresolved.
“We are asking Members of Parliament and prospective candidates to listen to what people with a learning disability and their families have to say.”