How can healthcare workers and people with a learning disability best collaborate to co-produce an online presence, for the purpose of campaigning to reduce stigma and discrimination? Well I’m not entirely sure. But we’re going to have a go at it.
Our Get Me? campaign was developed when people with a learning disability joined forces with statutory and voluntary sector partners and in a shared mission to try and shift public attitudes. We had a simple idea – create a short film with people with a learning disability talking about stuff they like and enjoy – sport, food, socialising, reading the paper, listening to the radio and so on. Get Me?- get a better understanding of learning disabilities is our message.
We’ve created posters, postcards and a website which will include stories from people who participated in the film. But all this is a bit static. So we started thinking about how we might use social media to get conversations going about the campaign and expand our engagement.
We recently had a great workshop with Abhay Adhikari, who is @gopaldass on Twitter, about digital identities onlin,e and we are using his formula to help us work through our ideas. We plan to create an online eco-system of people we can engage and influence who will be interested in our campaign sharing the messages more widely (for example campaigners, parents, family members, teachers etc.).
Our digital solution is a Facebook fan page. Firstly, we want to go where most people are. Secondly, we want to be able to post lots of photos and pictures (for example, photographs of stuff which is good in the city and stuff that isn’t so good if you have a learning disability). Thirdly, we want to be able to share content about things going on which are relevant to the campaign. Fourthly, we want to share updates about the campaign itself and get people having a conversation with us about the issues.
Our learning disability services at @leedsandyorkpft have a fabulous involvement team with a big open plan office that people with a learning disability can come along to, hang out and get involved. It’s a small step to have a laptop set up for people to create status updates. And staff are on hand to help and advise.
Our next step is to run a workshop for participants to think through how they want to make it work together. And agree some simple rules to keep everyone safe.
We have searched for social media sites run by people with a learning disability but haven’t found any. If you know of any or are involved yourself, I’d love to hear from you. We’re also very happy to share our learning and experience as it develops.