#AbilitiesNotDisabilities aims to challenge public perceptions of people with learning disabilities by highlighting the talents of project participants. Participants have showcased their range of skills during the process of creating their own clothing label.
The #AbilitiesNotDisabilities project is led by people with learning disabilities and engages the wider community with their business and campaigns.
A self-advocacy group who engage in campaigning activity and gain work experience through creating and running their own clothing brand.
The project was set up by existing participants who had an interest in design and wanted to create a business. As more members have joined, the project has grown and during the past year the group have published their own book, made a variety of clothing designs and trade marked their brand.
LEEP1, the lead community organisation behind the project, are tackling discrimination and health inequalities through various ways. As well as creating their own business and job opportunities they’re also campaigning for better employment opportunities in their local community.
In 2019, project participant, Susan Hanley addressed the local council to advocate for better employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities. During the meeting, Susan asked the council to ‘lead by example’ and spoke about the need for greater confidence in the abilities of people with learning disabilities.
Participants are dismantling harmful beliefs through being active in their community and showcasing their great work. On top of this, the project has also helped people form strong social connections which have been harnessed to create a successful business.
My confidence has really been boosted and I’m really happy that I’ve joined LEEP1 and everyone is like a family member. I’ve achieved a lot and made people proud in my life.