This week (17-23 June) is Learning Disability Week, when people with and without a learning disability come together to promote inclusion across the UK.
This year, the theme is sport and inclusion, looking at the benefits of getting your blood pumping and socialising.
People who have a learning disability can face barriers when trying to get involved in sport, often having difficulty finding inclusive groups, or having nerves about meeting new people.
Learning disability charity, Mencap, completed a survey of 18-35-year-olds with a learning disability, which found that:
- 49 per cent would like to spend more time outside of their house
- 18 per cent feel isolated and cut off from others
- One in three spend less than an hour out of their homes on a typical Saturday
These statistics highlight the social inequality between people with a learning disability, compared with people who don’t. Much more needs to be done to ensure inclusion across the board.
Everyone deserves to feel welcome in the workplace. For people with autism or a learning disability, getting through the interview can be the biggest barrier. Share if you think people deserve to be treated like adults. #AmIYourProblem pic.twitter.com/886ZdOmFkP
— United Response (@unitedresponse) June 17, 2019
Sport is well-known for promoting team-work, communication and building relationships, making it a perfect segue for people with a learning disability to get involved in more social activities.
It’s the perfect way of meeting new people, creating new friendships, boosting morale and self-confidence, and reducing social isolation anxiety and depression.
The physical activity also has great benefits, expending energy, getting active and providing distractions from daily life.
This year, Mencap is calling on people with and without a learning disability to get involved in inclusive sporting clubs and groups in their local communities, to raise the profile of Learning Disability Week and the steps left to take to ensure better inclusion in sport.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your trainers on and head down to your local football pitch or gym to celebrate differences this Learning Disability Week.
Head to the Mencap website to find out more about Learning Disability Week.