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June 20
Open your mind, not your mouth

Independent living has been truly life changing.  It finally granted so many people who have learning disabilities greater access to their communities – where 30 years ago this would have seemed unthinkable.

But, a new report confirms that for many people their new found independence has come at a price – bullying and harassment in Scotland's streets, schools and workplaces.

The report, released by researchers Lemos and Crane to coincide with Learning Disability Week, confirms that verbal, physical and financial abuse are rife against people who have learning disabilities.

Like many, I was disgusted when Ricky Gervais persistently chose to use the word “mong” on Twitter last year.  It was, he claimed, now an everyday word, which was no longer offensive because it had been reclaimed by disabled people.

But what Ricky does not understand is that many people who have learning disabilities have felt the pain of having had that word repeatedly used against them year after year after year.

One family I met recently said that this was the way it started for them.  Repeated verbal abuse.  Then damage to their property.  They were eventually forced to move from their home.  What did they do to merit this reaction?  They had a daughter with Down’s Syndrome.

Changing attitudes isn’t easy but we must tackle bullying head on.  That’s why we’ve received funding from the Scottish Government to launch a new campaign called “Open your mind, not your mouth”.  We’ll be visiting schools across Scotland and speaking to pupils about how words can be hurtful and asking them to sign a pledge promising to understand its effects and to help in educating others.

What can you do to help?

1 - Sign our anti-bullying charter at:
2 - Click here to watch a video of one of our anti-bullying ambassadors Peter McMahon
3 - Become a member of ENABLE Scotland and help us to beat bullying and harrassment

Open your mind, not your mouth
A great project. And for learning disability week a great way to open minds would be to spread the word about NO LABELS ebooks. A fictional drama group's adventures but based on real experience.
There is no such thing as challenging behaviour, only creative behaviour. 

There's a Facebook Page and a blogsite and all available on Amazon

Five  dramatic episodes  tell the story of the fictional No Labels Drama Group. Meet the cast and share in their journey, as they dispense with the Learning Disability label and teach us through drama and comedy that labels are for tins not for people. These stories are poignant, funny and based on real experience. An insight into the world of marginalised people and a tribute to their strength and humour. 
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Created: 0;#2012-06-20 10:04:13

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