Don’t look away from people with disabilities


For Learning Disability Week the focus has been on listening. The Mencap Hear My Voice campaign is promoting the voice of individuals as a powerful force. Evie Prysor-Jones, SEN and safeguarding content lead at Optimus Education, explores why looking is just as important as listening.

‘Don’t stare at that person, it’s rude,’ my teacher snapped at me briskly when on a school trip. I remember being confused. I had been staring at the person’s coat; it was a really nice, fluffy, red coat, and I failed to see why it was rude to admire it so obviously. Looking back now, I can remember an additional detail that I failed to notice aged eight – the lady with the lovely red coat had a disability.

I’m now convinced that my teacher took one glance at who I was staring at and assumed I was staring in open curiosity at the lady’s…

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