It’s Learning Disability Week!

 

Learning Disability Week 2017 runs from Monday 19th June – Sunday 25th June.

This year’s theme is employment, specifically improving employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.  

It's an opportunity to support people who are looking for jobs and to celebrate those who are in employment.

Learning Disability Week is a Mencap initiative. Established in 1946, Mencap is a UK charity working with people with learning disabilities. It fights for equal rights and opportunities through national campaigning.

Around 8 in 10 working age people with a learning disability have one that’s mild or moderate, but fewer than 2 in 10 are in employment. We want this change, and with your support we can.
— Mencap

Access All Areas support this – and are changing the game in our own unique way.

In 2016/17, Access All Areas secured a total of 198 days paid work for people with learning disabilities: 82 with the company itself, and 117 with external partners.

Our Performance Company are a group of 12 professional artists who are paid to create immersive theatre. Previous productions include Eye Queue Hear and The Trial. They are currently developing a show for Spring 2018 called MADHOUSE re:exit, exploring the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities. 

Performance Company artists performing Eye Queue Hear on the streets of Brighton

 

We have seven artists who are represented by a talent agency, Simon & How. They are paid to appear in TV, film and theatre. Last year, our artists featured in Holby City (BBC), Damned (Channel 4) and The Level (ITV), as well as established theatres like the Almeida and Hampstead Theatre.

Cian Binchy on set, filming The Level (ITV)

 

Twelve of our artists have recently received accreditation in workshop leading, and will be paid to deliver workshops to arts organisations on accessibility and learning disabilities using different techniques such as role-play, drama and presentations.

Access All Areas runs the Performance Making Diploma at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, equipping performers with learning disabilities with the skills and knowledge required to make it in the industry. 100% of graduates have gone onto receive paid work. 

2016 graduates with the Principal of Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Gavin Henderson.

 

Finally, for those with more moderate learning disabilities, Spring Back is an accredited course in resilience and life skills that aims to support people to lead their lives and participate in their communities in the fullest way possible.

We were thrilled to discover recently that we are finalists in the The National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards.

Alison, the mother of star and creator of The Misfit Analysis Cian Binchy, nominated us for the ‘Employer of People with a Disability’ award.

Alison and Cian travelled up to Birmingham on Wednesday to be interviewed by a panel of judges on why Access All Areas should win the award. What a way to celebrate #LDweek17!

The award ceremony will be held at ICC Birmingham, presented by actress, comedian and activist Sally Phillips, on the 14th July 2017.

Keep everything crossed for us – and happy Learning Disability Week!