Turning Point's Fiona Ritchie releases statement for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

News item posted: 03 December 2015

As part of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Turning Point are highlighting the need for greater equality for people with learning disabilities.

Significant progress has been made over the last decade in terms of stigma; life expectancy; the range of support available in our communities; and employment opportunities. According to government statistics, more people with disabilities are employed now compared to 2002, and more children with Special Educational Needs are achieving 5 or more GCSEs at grade A* to C.

However Turning Point’s Managing Director for Learning Disability, Fiona Ritchie, says there is more work to be done: ‘We still live in a society where people with a learning disability live shorter lives, experience discrimination and don’t always get the level of support they should expect. That’s why days like today are so important. They help to raise awareness of the achievements of people with disabilities and provide a platform to challenge each other to ensure that people with learning disabilities receive the same opportunities as anyone else.

‘I hope that by next year we can say that more people with learning disabilities are in employment; that services are meeting the needs of BME communities and migrants; and that their health outcomes are continuing to improve. We will only achieve these things if the whole system – from government to providers to people with learning disabilities – work together to deliver positive changes. That’s why we are continuing to focus on supporting each individual to be as independent as they want and fulfil their ambitions.’