Having adult education has helped me shape up to have confidence and to show off my abilities and strengths in what I want to do with my life. I think Learner programmes are very important as they play a role in helping and supporting someone with different abilities to feel comfortable about themselves and they are NOT the problem and that they can feel that they can make a difference in their lives and to the world too.
Anything is possible. That’s the feeling I get with adult education programmes and support groups. I would recommend and encourage others out there with different abilities to do this, to help themselves to discover their amazing selves to grow, learn to build up their confidence and to make a difference because they can.
Communication and taking in everything which a barrier for me all the time, it’s part of who I am and there is nothing wrong with that. This is a challenge for me which I have accepted and I could choose to feel sorry for myself or I could work on it every day to do my best as I can, which I am doing right now and always. Everyone needs support: Not labels and not put into categories. Society needs to change.
Ireland needs to be more disability friendly when it comes to documents about everyday life. For example, when applying for jobs, renting, employment taxes etc the language isn't easy read at all. Also, society is a big thing how people see other people with labels. That is quite damming to a person with different abilities.
I don’t feel represented on a political level. They might think they do, they try. But not the right way. I feel that their hearts are in the right place but not in the right direction. I think the governments should reach out to us citizens with different abilities and families that are supporting and groups like Ability Board to help the movement reach out to those that have concerns and ideas to help people with different abilities. I feel that they don’t mean what they say. Action speaks louder than words.
We have the right to have a say, just because we might look different or talk different and whatnot doesn’t mean we don’t know what is happening in our own country.
I hope programmes like Ability@Work and Ability Board will broaden the originations out more so together in time will all be able to reunite and make a positive difference for the disability community in Ireland.
This story is Part of the Learners as Leaders activity within AONTAS’ current project ‘Adult and Community Education: Supported Learner Pathways 2020-2021’ as part of the European Agenda for Adult Learning.