Sunday, 31 July 2011

21 March: Julia, Number 4, Mencap & Luke Clements

We met Julia - Information Officer for the LD Parliament - at the Number 4 cafe in Sedgefield.

Julia had volunteered to help me with my Big Challenge campaign for language and literacy for all, and with my campaign against the cuts, helping me share information on the law and the cuts with other Learning Disability MP's and service users who are affected.

The cakes were delicious, and after the cafe we went into the Black Lion for a game of pool, then over to Shildon to visit my friend from college, Lauren.

But not everything was good news.

Julia told us Brian had crossed our names off the list for going to the Mencap event about fighting the cuts on Wednesday 23 March, and we had been really looking forward to meeting Luke Clements there. Luke is a barrister who specialises in social care and my family has downloaded and studied his and barrister Steve Broach's papers on using the law to fight the cuts.

We knew places were limited but Brian had not told us he had decided we were not in the lucky few who could go :(

My talk about the law and the cuts and how personalisation has gone wrong for me in Co Durham did not make it onto the agenda for March Learning Disability Parliament meeting.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

14 Feb: AAC Keys: Weekend News

When Hannah comes on Mondays and Fridays I tell her what I have been doing since I last saw her. Sometimes I connect my Pathfinder to Mam's old Mac so what I say also gets written into Word.

11 Feb: LD Parliament?

Today was to be my second talk of 2011 at the Learning Disability Parliament. It was to be about using the law to fight the cuts, how personalisation has gone wrong for me in County Durham, everything I have done to help them know me, my needs and wishes, and then open the floor to everyone to share their experiences and talk about how we might campaign for our rights.

MP's from all localities decided before Christmas that this was really important to us all and we talked about making a documentary, having a video booth, putting things on the Internet or making a newsletter.

Our monthly meetings at Durham are the only chance we get to all be together and discuss our issues.

BUT, like in January, some organisations needed to gather information from service users and they took over the meeting.

1 Feb: Protect the Frontline!

The Learning Disability Coalition asks people with learning disabilities all over the UK to campaign against cuts in social care budgets by delivering postcards to council leaders, heads of social care and portfolio holders for Adults, Health and Wellbeing 1 February 2011.

I went with my cousin Robert, brother John and friends from Craig House, Barnard Castle - Pauline Lazard, Andrew Henderson, Nicola Jayne Brown, Louise Vollans, Lee Greenaway, Caroline Saunders and John Cooper. 

We gave Frontline postcards to Mac Williams JP, Chairman of Durham County Council, Rachael Shimmin, Director of Adults, Wellbeing & Health, and Morris Nicholls, Portfolio Holder at Durham Council Chambers.  
Movie on YouTube:​ch?v=HC2barQiVZ0
Pics on Facebook:
Learning Disability Coalition:

January: Hannah, My New PA

Hannah is a Literacy teacher and is helping Mam and John with my literacy at home. She is really interested in my communication aid and helping with my language practice, as well as fun things like taking me to her house to photograph her coats and her sons' coats.

Hannah does Dyslexia literacy and Mam and John do synthetic phonics. We are learning from each other.

January: Hazel, Lauren & Dale

Dream come true! I've been wanting friends from college to come to my house since I started there 18 months ago and it's happening at last! Lauren started coming and having sleepovers during the Christmas holidays. One Saturday she showed me where Dale lives but he was out. We talked to his family.

I have visited Hazel at home she has been to mine a few times. I took her to see my nephew Paul Squire one Saturday. 

It's hard for me to make arrange visits myself and all this came about after my family talked to my friends and their families at the Christmas Fayre in December.

Lauren and Hazel and Hazel's carers all love my iPad, especially the synthetic phonics apps. Hazel's carers are helping her to read and write. If only they would do synthetic phonics with us at college...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

25-27 Jan: Wishing Well, DADLG, Taekwondo

Tuesday me and Rob went to the Wishing Well club at the Pioneering Care Centre, Newton Aycliffe. We met some friends from college, Innovations and the LD Parliament there.

Wednesday we had a meal at the Court Inn, Durham with friends from Durham Area Disability Leisure Group. Some student volunteers from Durham Uni were there. Rob told them about us making AAC and helping everyone communicate.

Thursday we started doing Taekwondo with Russell Shaw at Spennymoor Leisure Centre, a DADLG activity.

2011: The National Year of Communication!

Hello, the 2011 national year of communication campaign.

Speech, language and communication underpin everything we do.

Difficulties with communicating affect children and young people severely and for life.

Hello is being run by The Communication Trust in partnership with the Government's Communication Champion Jean Gross. The national year was proposed by John Bercow MP in his 2008 Review of Services for Children and Young People with speech, language and communication needs.

Hello is backed by the Department for Education and Department of Health and sponsored by BT and Pearson Assessment.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

20 Jan: SLT, PCP, Phonics

Today while I was at college Mam and my speech therapist tuned into Gail Van Tatenhove's webinar 'Supporting Students Using Robust AAC Devices in General Education Classes' at our house.  Mam and me filmed Gail doing this talk in Montreal august 2008.
After that Mark Eccles from DCC Person Centred Planning team came to our house to return my artwork from the 29 Days Person Centred Planning workshops in February 2008. We couldn't have it until after the exhibitions. Then we were told it had been binned. We asked who by? And suddenly it turned up!
Pics from my LD Parliament presentation on Facebook:

Tonight Mam and John made all the buttons for an interactive synthetic phonics PowerPoint.

17 Jan: LD Parliament

At November locality meeting Brian asked everyone what their issues were and for me to do two talks at the Learning Disability Parliament, one in January and one in February. January was to be my Language and Literacy campaign and February my presentation about using the law to fight the cuts.
Sadly there was no time for my talk as some organisations that needed to collect feedback from service users took over the meeting.

6 Jan: Paul Squire Reed, my new nephew

Paul Squire Reed born today to my brother Paul and his wife Sharon.
more pics on Facebook