Over the next couple of months, we will be sharing stories of our members, all adults with disabilities, and the work they have been doing during the pandemic. There’s a profound lack of knowledge about who disabled people are as individuals and who they are as a group and the get2gether community is taking steps that will move them from the margins to the main stage.
The aim of the #BecomingVisible campaign is also about how the media can reduce stereotypical representations of disability—and in doing so, help reduce discrimination and advance equality.
Marion Smith, Project Manager at get2gether said “At get2gether we want to encourage people with disabilities to be ambitious for their own lives. We want them to thrive and flourish in their own communities. At get2gether we always put our members at the forefront of everything we do”.
Adults with disabilities, particularly learning disabilities, are often not encouraged to live a fully authentic adult life. Expectations are generally low, with employment opportunities virtually non-existent.
Andrew Hiddleston, Ambassador at get2gether, winner of the SCLD 2020 Employee recognition award, said: “In this campaign you will be able to see what our members are capable of, leading events, taking initiative, taking the time and you will know how you would be able to help us!“
get2gether’s Ambassadors, DJs and sessional workers all demonstrate that a working life is a possibility. Many of the organisation’s members are inspired to have greater ambition for their own lives. We see this as an issue of human-rights. People having employment, decent housing, good standard of living and adult relationships should not be exceptional.
get2gether is offering opportunities for people with disabilities and learning disabilities to come together and work for change. The campaign “Becoming Visible” aims to challenge negative and sentimental perceptions of people with disabilities and particularly learning disabilities.
Marion also adds that “get2gether’s philosophy is that people with disabilities can flourish when given a positive environment and the support to thrive. We want our members to be ambitious for their own lives.”
During the periods of lockdown caused by COVID-19 get2gether changed its offer to a completely digital service. This saw a remarkable increase in the use, technical ability, and enjoyment of the virtual world by the members, giving a lie to the erroneous idea that adults with learning disabilities cannot learn or will take much longer to learn. The pandemic caused everyone to learn very quickly and get2gether members were often ahead of staff in their abilities and enthusiasm to grasp these new opportunities. There is however a hunger for human contact and when we all do get back to the new normal get2gether will be having the biggest party ever.
Moving forward get2gether will use the best of both virtual and community experiences to give maximum accessibility and opportunities to members. The #BecomingVisible campaign will focus on encouraging and supporting the growth of ambition for people with disabilities and learning disabilities.