In 2011 the Care Trust Plus in North East Lincolnshire recognised the need to influence the way individuals and organisations related to people with disabilities. As they wanted to positively contribute to creating an environment in North East Lincolnshire that people with disabilities were not seen as a burden and that people were treat as individuals first and foremost. It wanted to explore how to promote the Social Model of Disabilities. The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.
To consider and explore this a group of local people came to together to understand what this meant to them and people they know. The group was made up of local residents with and without differing disabilities and staff involved in social care. They met regularly over about year period and they were supported by people skills to facilitate and capture the work in a format that could be used to have an impact. The key part to this work was having the unique skills of Pen Mendonca who was able to translate the discussions into Graphic Image Stories. These become the focus and were developed and adapted by the group. As part of this evolving process members of the group took it out to a number of interested groups to test out whether the message and medium was right. The group members also shared and discussed the stories with their friends, relatives and colleagues This in turn shaped the developed the stories into what they are now.
It is intended to use the stories as part the identity and values of “focus” and to influence its partners and the wider community. The stories will be used in their current form around the community to provoke thought, debate, challenge behaviour and practice. Though the main desired outcome is that people with disabilities come up across less barriers in their life.
Created by Penelope Mendonca