Learning Disability Week returned from 17th – 23rd June with the theme ‘Do You See Me? The annual campaign aims to raise awareness of the lives of people with a learning disability and ensure they are a visible, valued part of society. To celebrate, we hosted a programme of events and activities at Sheffield’s Weston Park Museum.

Visibility was a key theme of this year’s Learning Disability Week. We embraced this by bringing our services into public spaces and developing activities to facilitate connection between our members and the wider population. Our aim was to encourage a greater level of understanding and support for Sheffield’s learning disability community.

Right: Our members visiting Weston Park Museum to see the ‘Do You See Me?’ photography exhibition.

Self-portraits inspired by Picasso created during Friday’s workshop at Weston Park Museum.

The ‘Do You See Me?” exhibition of photographic portraits of our members, together with short biographies, has been displayed at Weston Park Museum since April. The beautiful portraits were shot by photographer Joe Horner and have been praised for capturing the individuality, diversity and personality of each subject.

For Learning Disability Week, we developed the ‘Do You See Me?’ theme through hosting a series of public drop-in workshops and activities at the museum. The workshops encouraged participants to explore how they see themselves through a range of creative activities including collage, creative writing, poetry and Picasso-inspired self-portraiture.

Several of our Activity Learning Hub groups relocated from Norfolk Lodge to Weston Park Museum to collaborate on these workshops. This gave visitors the opportunity to participate in activities together with people with a learning disability. Activity and Learning Hub Manager Jennifer explained:

We want to actively encourage more visibility for our members and greater integration between people with a learning disability and the general public. The activities we ran during learning disability week gave people a rare opportunity to sit together with people with a learning disability and connect over shared activities. We wanted visitors to leave seeing similarities rather than differences between themselves and people with a learning disability.

A highlight of the week was the children and family activities delivered at Weston Park Museum on Saturday 22nd June. Over 50 children dropped-in throughout the day with their families and carers to have fun with puppets, try out crafts and play games.

Children’s group leader Emma told us more:

It was a very successful day! We had 40 kids working as a team on a colouring activity where everyone did a little bit to contribute to a bigger piece of art, which worked really well. We had a lot of kids come across from the children’s hospital and parents were really appreciative that the activities were inclusive to all communication needs and abilities.

Children enjoying activities at Weston Park on Saturday.
Our members display their collage self-portraits.

Thank you to everybody who was involved in Learning Disability Week!