Please help raise awareness of the needs and rights of people with a learning disability in accessing equitable health care.
Take the pledge and be the change. #LDPledge
My daughter Alice was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome and a learning disability at 4 days. Now aged 13, and still to meet a health care professional who can communicate with her directly, Alice has become a campaigner in her own right, meeting LD Nurses and sharing her story.
Alice and I have been privileged to meet some inspirational people and we were delighted when we were asked to be involved with a special project called ‘The Going to Hospital Book’ (watch this space as it is an amazing resource!). As ideas and discussions were shared, I saw a picture of The ED Pledge and it immediately got me thinking...
The ED Pledge resides at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and was the brainchild of Elizabeth Herrieven, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, and Laura Burton, Play Specialist in the Emergency Department.
I started thinking about translating this into an easy-read Makaton symbol format, and making the Makaton signs available. My aims at this point were raising awareness of inclusive communication, providing some key sign and symbol information for professionals, and most importantly ensuring a positive, supported hospital experience for our community of people with learning disabilities. With Learning Disability Week approaching, 17th - 23rd June, the stars were aligned!
But why stop there? After more idea sharing, phone calls and collaboration across multiple networks, the idea for The LD Pledge video was born. Pulling together some amazing people to sign each line of the pledge, we want to encourage all NHS staff to ‘Take the Pledge and Be the Change’.
This has been a huge collaboration, and I am extremely thankful to everyone who volunteered and contributed.
With thanks: The Makaton Charity, Helen Laverty MBE, Elizabeth Herrieven, Laura Burton, Paula McGowen, Ruth May, Emily Kavanagh, Lisa Cooper. Lesley Taylor, Alder Hey Hospital, Tommy Jessop, LD Student Nurses University of Cumbria, Emma Cunnah-Newall, Wrexham Maelor COPD, MiXiT Days, Dr Ranj, Jake Glennon, Angie Emyrs-Jones, Ted Emyrs Jones and of course the inspiration for it all – Alice Glennon!