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“Do You See Me?” Celebrating Learning Disability Week with Disability Equality North West

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This week marks Learning Disability Week when we ensure the world hears what life is like if you have a learning disability. This year’s theme, “Do You See Me?” is about being seen, heard and valued, as we challenge the barriers that people with learning disabilities face. 

A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities. People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complicated information and interact with other people. It is important to remember that with the right support, most people with a learning disability in the UK can head independent lives.

We caught up with Melanie Close, Chief Executive at Disability Equality North West to discuss the work they do, and the importance of inclusion for those with learning disabilities. 

Mock-up of the Recite Me toolbar being used on the Disability Equality North West website

Who is Disability Equality NW and what do you do?

We are a user-led disabled people’s organisation covering the North West (predominantly Lancashire) of England. We provide several user-led services for disabled people to help them live independently and be active in their local communities.

Why is Learning Disability Week important to Disability Equality NW? 

As an organisation covering all impairments, we see daily the negative impact that societal barriers have on disabled people, in particular, those with learning difficulties and often other people’s attitudes stop them from living full and active lives – it’s important that people with learning difficulties, and all disabled people are celebrated for what they can do rather than focusing on what they can’t do.

This year’s theme is “Do you see me?”, why do you think it is so important that we raise awareness of this initiative? 

People with learning disabilities are a part of all communities, workplaces, and educational establishments and they should be seen and valued as part of those communities by others.



We live in a diverse world where everyone has something to contribute and as such we should celebrate that diversity!

Why did you want to provide assistive tools on your website and why did you choose Recite Me to help with this? 

We want to ensure our website, and the information on it, is accessible to all. We looked at other options but Recite Me seemed to have the most experience and the best choice of accessibility options.

mockup of the toolkit showing a page about colour contrast

Online Accessibility and Inclusion Toolkit

This year we published our Digital Inclusion Toolkit that was developed to help businesses make a real difference to the lives of the millions of people around the world who encounter online barriers. The 40 page document provides practical advice covering the complete landscape of online accessibility from how to write an accessibility statement to our top tips for providing an inclusive recruitment journey.

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