Essential people with learning disabilities are leaders of conversations around their lives, says Armstrong, marking Learning Disabilities Week

Alliance Communities spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has welcomed people with learning disabilities, their families and support organisations to Parliament Buildings to celebrate Learning Disability Week 2023.

Kellie Armstrong Learning disability

Building on last year's theme of ‘Living life with a learning disability’, and taking inspiration from Mencap’s ‘Myth Busters’, who are already challenging misconceptions, this year's theme is ‘Busting myths about individuals with a learning disability’.

“This Learning Disability Week, I feel privileged to be able to provide a platform for promoting inclusion and decreasing stigma around the lives of those with learning disabilities, and hearing their unique personal perspectives” said Ms Armstrong, who is Chair of the Assembly’s All-Party Group on Learning Disabilities.

“We want to ensure people with learning disabilities are able to speak out about their own lived experiences, using their own voices to shine a light on what matters to them and the stigma many still face, and dispel misconceptions about how they live their lives and what they can achieve.

“They must be the leaders of the conversations happening around their own lives.

“I am delighted to welcome so many talented people to Parliament Buildings to have these discussions. To be joined by James Martin, Oscar-winning actor, Aaron Lenzi, a Special Olympian, human rights and equality activists, and volunteers and staff from Mencap is incredibly humbling.

“As Chair of the All Party Group on Learning Disabilities, I am indebted to Mencap who ensure people with learning disabilities have direct access to politicians, and importantly politicians listen to the voice of the 42,000 people with learning disabilities right across Northern Ireland.

“For this year’s Learning Disability Week we’re committed to helping bust the myths that still persist around people with learning disabilities, and showcasing the incredible things they can achieve.”