Last week I delivered workshops at the Cardiff Against Bullying Conference. The conference came out of a report written by Estyn on ‘Action on Bullying’
I was asked to deliver Disability Awareness Training to address one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, disability. The target audience was primary and secondary schools in Cardiff along with other interested parties.
I made the disability awareness training sessions as interactive as possible. That was a challenge in its self as each workshop session was 50 minutes and repeated four times. I started by posing the question ‘is disablism a made up word by me?’ followed by group decisions, identification of barriers in their teaching practice, ways of bringing disabled people into the curricula, and then finished up looking at resources around.
The majority of participants had not really made the jump in thinking from seeing disability as something ‘special’ to that of an equality issue. To illustrate what I trying to share with the participants, I was gifted with a wonderful learning opportunity on my arrival at the venue!
As always I arrived in plenty of time to setup and organise myself. Before I began the first session I thought ‘go to the loo’ I often do this. I went and found the women’s and men’s open, and the accessible toilet looked! Know that’s like a red flag to a bull to me! There am I delivering Disability Awareness at an Equality and Anti–bullying conference, and I couldn’t go for a wee without finding the key! Well you can image what fun I had, I have learnt over the years not to get cross or anger but to use fun and laughter to get the point across.
So being the good trainer I am I saw an opportunity for some ‘action learning’. With flipchart and pen I started the ‘liberate the loo’ campaign asking people to sign up and they did! If you’d like to sign up then you can do so by visiting this page.
It was very powerful for all concerned, much learning was achieved, many attitudes were reflected on, and disability took a step into the arena of equality.
I love what I do, the opportunities I am give to make a difference, the people I meet and their willingness to come on the journey with me. Disability Awareness Training is about making a difference and on that day we did!