Writer Michael McEwan gives the lowdown on Young Scotland's Got Talent and inclusive club night 'Late'
THERE are a lot of good campaigns out there, like Young Scotland's Got Talent. This campaign runs roadshows for young people with learning difficulties and individuals on the autistic spectrum (aged 14-24) who want to work when they leave school or college.
The organisers invite families of people interested in career options, and professionals working in the care sector.
This roadshow is a partnership event between Values Into Action Scotland and The Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD). At the time they launched this campaign, I was working for SCLD. We had a big launch event at Hampden Park in Glasgow, with workshops on how to make music and workshops for the Jobcentre, Skills Development Scotland and different disability organisations.
The club night is open to all but especially welcome to people with learning disabilities.
The roadshow has travelled up and down the country. It engages young people in employment with a disability as role models, sharing stories of their personal journeys into work. It also provides workshops offering practical advice about organisations which can support people in their job search.
The event brings together all the relevant agencies, gives advice on employment, offers fun workshops and a fashion show where young people with interesting jobs take to the catwalk and inspire the audience. Comedienne Susan Morrison regularly comperes the event to ensure that they are fun, interesting and challenging.
Another great campaign at the moment was set up by Dates n Mates, a Glasgow-based dating and friendship agency for people with learning disabilities, in partnership with C-Change, a supported living charity, which hosts Scotland's only inclusive club night for over 18s called 'Late'.
The club night is open to all but especially welcome to people with learning disabilities. The joint venture recognised that none of the mainstream nightclubs offered a welcome environment for people with a disability. Late is a space where they can enjoy a safe and exciting nightclub experience.
Recognising that going to nightclubs for the first time can be a daunting experience – and thinking back to the transition between school discos and the odd house party, to queuing up at a nightclub on a weekend – this event gives people who may have felt excluded from clubbing in the past, perhaps due to a lack of confidence, with an opportunity to go out, let their hair down and enjoy themselves while feeling safe in their surroundings.
The joint venture recognised that none of the mainstream nightclubs offered a welcome environment for people with a disability. Late is a space where they can enjoy a safe and exciting nightclub experience.
Late is part of a campaign called Stay Up Late, which was set up to ensure that person-centred planning for people with learning disabilities and autism truly reflects what individuals want to do in their lives.
In particular, it conceded that people with learning disabilities and autism weren't able to stay up late and do the things so many people who don't need support take for granted.
To find out more about this campaign go to www.stayuplate.org.
Picture courtesy of Dates n Mates
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