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Hear our voice: The change we want to see 2015 – 2020

My name is Sara Pickard, I’m 30 years old, and I’m trying to bring about real change in the UK, through politics. Politics can be messy and inaccessible
for everyone, especially people with a learning disability. But it is our right to take part.

That’s why Mencap has made this book. It’s a collection of stories from people with a learning disability and their families, telling us what changes they want to see from the 2015 General Election.

Like so many people who have joined the Hear my voice campaign, I have a learning disability. What does that mean? It just means that I might need extra help with certain things.

I’m a councillor in my town of Pentyrch. I represent the community, including people with a learning disability. The General Election is our chance to
influence decisions that affect all our lives. In the last generation we made real progress for people with a learning disability and our families, but we still have such a long way to go before we are recognised – and treated – as equal and valued members of society.

Every year, 1,200 people with a learning disability die needlessly in the NHS. Over half of disabled people have been victims of hate crime. Thousands of people are stuck in units like Winterbourne View. These very serious issues affect many of the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK, so it’s shocking that they aren’t at the top of all political parties’ agendas.

We hope this book will inspire you to share your story and tell politicians what matters to you.

We also hope it will help political candidates learn more about the changes people with a learning disability and their families want to see.

Politics matters. It has an extraordinary impact on everyday life. It’s time we told politicians to Hear my voice.