About This is Me: Valuing the lives of people with learning disabilities



What is this campaign about?
‘This is Me: Valuing the lives of people with learning disabilities’ is about challenging the stigma, discrimination and inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities (some countries use intellectual disabilities as the term for this group of people). We are collaborating with people with learning disabilities and their families, the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities, Down's Syndrome Scotland and Promoting a More Inclusive Society (PAMIS) on this campaign to increase public awareness of the experiences of people with learning disabilities. Through a series of short films, we aim to challenge stigma and discrimination and influence positive change.

Why is this important?
People with learning disabilities are citizens like everyone else with rights, needs, hopes, dreams and goals. Yet people with learning disabilities are often not valued or seen as equals in society, and experience stigma and discrimination across many areas of life which is evidenced through huge health and social inequalities around the world.

  • People with learning disabilities die up to 20 years younger than the general population, often from avoidable or  treatable causes
  • People with learning disabilities were found to be 3 times more likely to die from Covid-19 than the general population and for some communities within the learning disability population, (e.g. people with Down’s syndrome) the rate is even higher
  • Children with a learning disability are 12 times more likely to die from preventable causes than other children

We also know people with learning disabilities experience high levels of hate crime and discrimination in the UK and that the experience of people with learning disabilities is little different and sometime worse in other countries throughout the world.

What do we want to see change?
We want to challenge the stigma and discrimination that people with learning disabilities experience in their lives, which leads to much poorer outcomes compared to the general population. During our Research Voices project in 2019, we worked with a group of people with learning disabilities who told us that negative attitudes about learning disabilities were very common. The group told us that there needed to be a campaign to challenge these attitudes - and we listened. 

Through challenging misconceptions and increasing awareness, we hope to reach a point where negative attitudes and beliefs about people with learning disabilities are no longer tolerated in society.

What are we doing?
We are collaborating with people with learning disabilities, their families and carers to share their stories through a series of short films and an evidence-led social media campaign to challenge the discriminatory attitudes which are common in society.

We want to spread the message far and wide that people with learning disabilities should enjoy the same human rights as everyone else including the right to equal healthcare, the right to live in their community in accommodation of their choice, going to places we all take for granted, being able to access appropriate toilets; lifelong education and employment opportunities; and to feel safe and free from harm. We want to highlight the value that people with learning disabilities make to all our lives.

How you can get involved
Help spread the message using #ThisIsMe22. Share your views, stories and insights about valuing the lives of people with learning disabilities.

You can take part by sharing a 60-second selfie video or posting a message telling us why this important, and what you and others can do to challenge stigma and discrimination. Make sure you follow #ThisIsMe22 on social media; use the hashtag when you create your own post about valuing the lives of people with learning disabilities.

If you would like to get in touch with us about work, please drop us an email via sldo-info@glasgow.ac.uk