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Front of Ealing Town Hall with a large crowd of people cheering

Seen, heard and valued

‘Do you see me?’ was the theme for Learning Disability Week 2024, highlighting that people with a learning disability should be seen, heard, valued, and celebrated for the things they bring to society.

Working with Ealing Mencap, Ealing Council invited adults with learning disabilities to ‘takeover’ a morning of work on Wednesday 19 June and more than 30 took up the challenge.


Senior staff from services across the council, including HR, safer communities, communications and adult social care were closely shadowed and observed in their daily work routines. And those doing the shadowing gained valuable experience and insight into council jobs and had opportunities to give input into decision making.

Those taking part were tasked with getting a promise from the council services they worked with to do something different to better support people with learning disabilities. 

Some of the promises include setting up a focus group to inform the council’s website, making it more inclusive and accessible; working with the safer communities team to make their leaflets more accessible; looking at how to make council staff induction more disability aware and understand how the council can be more inclusive as an employer 

Meetings will take place in the autumn, led by those who took part in the day, to follow up on the promises made and see how they are progressing. 

Seen, heard and valued

Councillor Polly Knewstub, cabinet member for healthy equal lives, said: “Understanding and celebrating the impact that people with learning disabilities bring to our communities is so important. The promises made by council officers on the day will certainly make changes to the way we work and deliver services, ensuring that those with a learning disability are seen, heard and valued. And while unfortunately I was unable to take part in this first takeover, I know it was hugely successful and that further days are being planned.  I am very much looking forward to taking part.”

Here’s a gallery of photos from the day – photo credit to Simon Calahan. For more information on learning disabilities visit the Ealing Mencap website.

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