Learning Disability Week is about raising awareness of people’s contribution to the community and employment. Here, Berge talks to us about how he raises awareness of learning disabilities both locally and nationally…
I met the manager of Treat Me Right! at a conference I was attending and started talking with her. Learning about Death by Indifference and other topics led me to applying for the position of Learning Disability Awareness Trainer and I have been here for nearly 10 years! My favourite training to provide is diabetes and Down’s Syndrome training. I am passionate about raising awareness of learning disabilities and this role allows me to do so. The role has allowed me to provide training in many areas – student nurses at University of West London, hospitals, Diabetes Eye Conference. I am part of the local Power Group – a group that represents and is run by people with disabilities. Here, I am part of the Health Sub Group Board and the Partnership Board.
I have been involved in a lot of campaigns both locally and nationally. I have attended the National Assembly working with advocacy groups, campaigning for rights for people with disabilities leading to proper hoists for wheelchairs being put in public places. I’m really proud of going to the House of Commons to give feedback about healthcare.
My next goal is to stop hate crime. I took a Leadership course for people with learning disabilities where we spoke about hate crime and the Holocaust. I was given a grant to make a film about raising awareness about people with disabilities killed during the Holocaust. I travelled to Poland and Germany to do research – Poland has the best restaurants, I loved the kebabs! I interviewed people about their experience and visited the areas it happened. I visited the gas chambers and the cemetery that had a sign in flowers – ‘Respect my Kind’. Did you know 1.5 million people with Down’s Syndrome were killed in the Holocaust? The film has been shown in schools and is a good resource for educational purposes. I have had the chance to show this to MPs in the House of Commons. It’s really important for me to show the film in Britain and the Middle East and let others know about Death by Indifference. I want to be on the news and tell people to stop wars.
It’s really important for me to get MP’s to speak up for people with learning disabilities, get out and help improve the lives of other people, especially babies and people with Down’s Syndrome.
BergeLearning Disability Awareness Trainer
Berge is a Learning Disability Awareness Trainer with Treat Me Right!. They have recently been nominated and are finalists for the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2017 for their work.