Free webinar: Celebrating Learning Disability Week

It’s Learning Disability Week presented by Mencap this week, and the theme for 2020 is friendship during the lockdown. 

Personally, I’ve leaned on friends a lot during these challenging times including one small WhatsApp group (there’s three of us altogether) who did our journalism training together in the mid-1990s. One of the three is the inspirational Saba Salman, who has recently released Made Possible: stories of success by people with learning disabilities, in their own words.

A picture of Saba, author of Made Possible

The book was inspired by Saba’s sister Raana who has fragile X syndrome but more importantly “has a talent for baking, an ambition to see her artwork widely displayed, an infectious giggle,” according to Saba’s Guardian article.

Raana’s passion for art has inspired a unique way of the two sisters staying in touch during the lockdown, which we’ll hear about in our free webinar on Monday 16 June.

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Celebrating diverse voices in learning disability work

Award winning filmmaker and performer Matthew Hellett

We’ll also be joined by award-winning filmmaker, performer and drag artist Mathew Hellett who features in Made Possible. 

Like the others who feature in the book, his story is told in his own words, something that is crucial to the book’s ethos which is to “champion the rights of learning-disabled people and reveal their true, but overlooked, potential,” according to Saba. 

That vision is shared by Brighton-based Creative Future is an arts organisation supporting some of the UK's most talented under-represented artists. 

Its mission is to make the arts more diverse and representative of the world we live in. The organisation’s Director Jane McMorrow will also be joining us for the webinar.

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Online friendship group for learning disabled during the lockdown

Also based in Brighton, Grace Eyre has launched an Art in Isolation project and an online friendship group. We’ll hear from them about how the closed Facebook Group has been enabling people to chat, and share worries during the lockdown.

While Grace Eyre is based in Brighton, everyone is welcome. 

On a personal footnote, Saba is one of the last friends I had a day out with ‘in real life’ so I’m looking forward to seeing her on Zoom alongside our other special guests. 

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