Through the development of Local Learning Disability Partnership Boards promoting Valuing People we became aware of our rights and choices. We began to think about our own lives and how they were different from other people’s in the community, we started to recognise that we faced barriers to have an ordinary life.
We decided to share what we had learned. Using our own life experiences, personal stories, poetry and drama we visited people at day centres, we found it rewarding when we enabled people to understand what Valuing People could mean for them.
This success led us to the development of New Vision Training, a user led enterprise run by six members all with learning disabilities, based within a day service, supported by Gateshead Council staff.
Over time, New Vision started to train staff on how to support people with learning disabilities in a person centred way and how to really listen to what people want in their lives.
Our aims are:
- Raise the profile of people with learning disabilities in society, promoting their rights to lead a fulfilling life by highlighting inequalities through our training and research.
- Raise standards in care by providing user led learning disability awareness training to professionals to enable them to understand the barriers we still face and how if feels to be a service user and a recipient of care.
- Promote the rights of people with a learning disability to lead ordinary lives by providing accessible training for people with learning disabilities to promote their independence, keep safe and make relationships.
As the enterprise grew we were supported by Gateshead Council to move out of the day service into our own office based in Gateshead.
We now deliver a wide range of accessible training based upon the needs of people with a learning disability, including personal relationships and sexuality, first aid, health and safety and enterprise development workshops.
More recently we have developed hate crime awareness workshops, drawing on our own personal experiences, working in partnership with the Local Communities Engagement Police Officer, Housing Company Safe Reporting Centres and local authority.
We have extensive experience of delivering innovative training projects and have gone from strength to strength since we first began. All of our training is designed to meet the needs of the participants and reflects person-centred approaches. Our training is delivered in a relaxed and creative way, yet remains practical, thought-provoking and full of surprises. We believe everyone has skills; we take the Dis out of Disability to see what people can achieve.
We are the proud holders of Skills for Care Accolade award 2007 for best involvement of service users in training. In 2014 we were awarded the Positive Behaviour Award and went on to win the Breaking Down Barriers 2017 at the National Learning Disability and Autism awards which recognises all the hard work we have put in.
Thirteen years on from when we first began we continue to campaign for the rights of people with a learning disability to be able to live an ordinary life after all …“Life is for everyone if everyone is included.”