Research from Mencap has found that one in four young people with a learning disability have been subjected to bullying from members of the public on a night out.
Bullying has no place in society. What’s more, the bullying of vulnerable people is so despicable that it warrants severe riposte from the learning disabilities community – and we at Pathway Healthcare are a big part of that community.
Who are these people who think that it’s ok to cause emotional harm to people who, quite conversely, require the support of society to experience life to the full?
A show of unity and support
With that said, we are fully behind Mencap’s call for bars and clubs to train their staff in learning disability awareness, given that the research showed that one in three of the 300 research participants were scared by staff and 12.5% have been turned away from a venue.
It is awareness through the distribution of information from research, and demonstrations of the depth that negative words can travel with personal stories from the victims of bulling, that can help senseless people understand the sheer gravity of their actions. It can help them to realise that calling someone a name has a huge impact on their lives.
If, as the research shows, adults with learning disabilities continue to isolate themselves from wider society because these people just don’t understand that their words are harmful, then we as proponents of equality in society have failed in our duties.
Attending social events at clubs and concerts is a big part of life for many young adults. The thoughtless bullying that the research has uncovered denys these young adults the right to live life as they want and causes them to feel alone and out of touch with the rest of society.
Adults with learning disabilities should be able live as they wish in a world that greets them with open arms rather than one that pushes them away. And it is down to us, the learning disabilities community, to raise awareness, as we are acutely aware of the impact bullying can have due to first hand experience.
Play your part
As well as sharing this blog and any of the others which feature this story, you can help support the cause and maybe catch the eye of bars, clubs and event organisers. Perhaps then they can take serious note and begin training staff in learning disabilities awareness.
Mencap is also on the look out for people to join its Sidekick scheme, where you can volunteer to spend time with people with learning disabilities at concerts and other events. Please: if you feel you have time to spare, then you can make a huge difference to the lives of others by signing up to the scheme.