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25 November 2020

People with learning disabilities and autistic people co-producing work – how it works for me

Kate Brackley works at Bild and has been writing a series of blog posts for us to share her experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. For this blog she is looking at how co-producing work is important, especially now when a lot of presenting is being done online.

People with learning disabilities and autistic people are experts by experience and co-producing work with them can show other people how they look at things differently by working with someone that does not have any disability.

A strengths based attitude looks at what people with learning disabilities and autistic people are good at. It’s so important to include them in co-producing work as it comes from the heart and shows other people that this is so powerful when working with them when co-producing work.

Communication is a key area when co-producing work. It’s important to get to know each other and build up a good relationship by looking at each other’s strengths and weaknesses and what each person will contribute to make co-producing the work a good experience for everyone. It’s very important at the moment as a lot of work is being presented online and this can have challenges.

I have learnt skills and gained experience over many years and have done a lot of co-producing work which I really enjoy. I’ve been thinking about the social model of disability and how taking away barriers worked for me and it can work for other people with disabilities and also autistic people.

The projects that I have experience in when co-producing work is when I work with Bild For The Future (Bild For The Future is Bild’s lived experience advisory group). I talk to the members of the group and we all work together as a team to agree what subjects we want to talk about and work on. There are other meetings as part of this work and we plan together what these should look like and how we can continue and grow stronger.

The other project I am currently working on is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training. There is a team where people who are working in the learning disability and autism field talk about how we can design training to train our trainers and also to train people who work in health and social care. We look at what the training should be about and how we should include a lot of things that are relevant to people with learning disabilities and autistic people. We want our training to make a difference to people with learning disabilities and autistic people’s lives.

By reading this blog I hope that people see that the key message is to include people with learning disabilities and autistic people right at the beginning and throughout the training and you will hear lots of good things coming from people with lived experience and this is vital always.