Saba Salman: Uplifting stories show potential and are vital

People with a learning disability are often denied what others take for granted – being part of a community, being treated as an individual and choosing to do things they like

Josephine Euter

Bravo to Sheffield Mencap and Gateway and photographer Joe Horner who collaborated on a portrait exhibition reflecting people’s distinct personalities alongside their active roles in communities.

Uplifting projects that promote people’s rights and potential are vital. Similar aspiration, for example, fires the arts leadership work of London’s Access All Areas, and Sunnybank Trust’s enterprise to boost the consumer experience for people with learning disabilities in Surrey – while publicising their not inconsiderable spending power to businesses.

We need light amid the gloom, and not just because the autumn days are getting darker. The cost of living crisis continues – on top of existing cuts to services – amid fresh evidence from human rights experts that the UK government is undermining disabled people’s lives. And there are concerns about seasonal flu and a new Covid variant.

Reporting both barriers and opportunities has driven Community Living throughout its 35-year history. Ours is a forward-looking publication, upholding people’s ability and right to thrive where they live.

In the past year, this progressive zeal has also led us to redesign our magazine, launch a new website and publish our first newsletter. We have strengthened our team with dedicated digital and social media expertise and new contributors.

Reporting barriers and opportunities has always driven Community Living. Ours is a forward-looking magazine, upholding people’s ability and right to thrive where they live

Now, in our latest development, we will go fully digital from January – which means we will be able to publish a magazine in full colour and reach people quickly, wherever they are.

With this growth in mind, we’ve made all individual articles on our website free for anyone to read, and our newsletter is free too. The full digital magazine is accessible to subscribers and sponsors.

Fully embracing digital and social media allows us to shine a stronger light on learning disability, ensuring that the issues that drive us are brought to a wider audience.   

Saba Salman