Inclusivity theme for UN Disability Day campaign

Paul and his girlfriend, Sheetal. Credit: ITV News Central

The United Nations held an International Day of Persons with Disabilities last week.

The United Nations awareness campaign focuses on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Glebe House provide support for adults and children with learning disabilities and autism and has helped Paul Maddison, a gentleman with learning disabilities grow in confidence and learn new skills.

Mr Maddison is a part-time admin worker in their office and carries out general administerial duties like photocopying, shredding and filing. He loves his job and says the staff are really good to him.

On a day out with other people from Glebe House, he met his girlfriend Sheetal and they have been together for five years and say they are very happy.

Clare Clarkson, a spokeswoman for Glebe House, said: “Glebe House supports those most vulnerable in society. People with learning disabilities are often under-represented, undervalued and not recognised for their qualities. Often people are seen as labels rather than individuals.

“Our philosophy is that we consider each person as a person, not as a person with a disability. We aim to empower people to live a life they choose to, provide opportunities which they can achieve and support them to achieve their goals.

“We feel that inclusion within their community is still difficult to achieve as there are so many barriers to overcome but it is very important for people with learning disabilities to feel like citizens who can give back to the community. There is still so much work to be done as the prejudice remains. People with learning disabilities still receive unfair treatment.”

Amin Kafai also goes to Glebe House and has Downs Syndrome. Mr Kafai was supported to get a volunteering post at the Rainbows charity shop in Loughborough where he prices items, tidies the shop and gets on well with the other volunteers.

Staff at Glebe House makes sure he gets to the Rainbows shop and back safely. He said volunteering really helps to improve his communication skills.

Peter Warlow, the Chief Executive of Glebe House, said: “One way society needs to make a change is through the normalisation of learning disabilities in the media. It is clear that in films and tv programmes, most characters with learning disabilities are in the programme because of their learning disability rather than what they contribute to the community.

“The programmes could highlight their daily issues as a by-product of the character rather than the learning disability being the plot line itself. At Glebe House we want to ensure that people have a voice and understand their own self worth and this should be reflected on what they see in the media.”

To read more about the UN’s campaign, please visit

You can find out more about Glebe House at their website.

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