Before that I went to a Day Centre for 20 years. When I was there some members of staff spoke to me as if I were a kid. They would tower above me, order me about, and even pat me. It was hardly a Great Interaction! I didn’t feel I got respect from some of the staff there.
Now that I’m working I have noticed that people treat me in a very different way. People speak to me in an adult way. I feel I get treated with respect. No-one would dream of patting me or raising their voice to order me about now!
I have learned a lot from working in MacIntyre. I am over 6 foot tall, and I have learned that if I’m not careful, I too can tower above the people I am supporting. I have learned to sit down so that we are at the same eye level.
So maybe I’ve changed the way I behave a little and have become more responsible. But I’m still me - Martin Oakey. I
still have a learning disability.
When I go back to visit my old Day Centre I have found that everyone treats me in an adult way. Suddenly I seem to
count – but we all count and that’s my message.
We all count.
Training and Development Officer, Reps on Board
(with support from Alison Wright)