‘There’s STILL more to me than a learning disability’.

This small sentence sums up the great and obvious truth that having a learning disability doesn’t stop a person from living a wonderfully ordinary, or indeed, extraordinary life.

There are many myths about people with learning disabilities. Last year, Mencap aimed to bust those myths for Learning Disability Week, which is an annual event that runs in the third week of June.

This year, the theme of the campaign is ‘Do You See Me?’. It’s about being seen, heard, and valued.

Catching up with friends

We’ve filmed a series of videos titled ‘There’s STILL More to Me Than a Learning Disability!’ They aim to break down the barriers faced by people with a learning disability. It recognises people in this community have the same right to live their lives in the way they choose, as anyone else.

The new videos re-visit members of the Involvement Matters Team, who we first filmed back in 2017.

The Involvement Matters Team is the council’s reference group for adults with a learning disability. They work alongside the Learning Disability Partnership Board to improve the lives of people with a learning disability in East Sussex.

The Team’s members have always been so much more than their learning disability.

The new videos invite you to get to know those members better. Since the original videos were made, the members have become champions in many different areas. Those areas include easy read, health equality, and training.

Importance of Easy Read

Tim smiles at the camera wearing headphones.


As a person with lived experience, Tim understands the importance of effective easy read documentation. Easy read is a way of supporting people with learning disabilities to understand written forms of communication. This might include letters, information about health, legal things such as tenancies, and how you receive services.

Tim said: ‘I think easy read is good because it breaks down the barriers to living a normal life. You’re able to understand what’s going on in your life and therefore feel a little more involved with what’s going on. In a way you’re taking the driving seat. When I receive a letter that’s done in easy read, it makes me feel like I’m respected.’

The council has lots of information about learning disabilities and support in Easy Read. It also has a handy guide on how to make easy read documents and a video explaining the importance of easy read.

The Involvement Matters Team provides support to a range of local and national organisations. It does this by providing feedback and advice on their easy read documentation. This also acts as a seal of approval and ensures people with a learning disability have been consulted on its effectiveness.

Equality is for everyone

Members of the Team tirelessly work to progress and develop in their personal lives. Many have gained qualifications and won awards.

Sarah looks into the camera. text reads there's still more to me than a learning disability


Actor Sarah has won many awards for her television work. She is the first person with Down’s Syndrome to be awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE). She is also a multi-award-winning equality activist.

She believes equality is when everybody can live a life they choose. And for people with a learning disability, this means access to good health care, work, and housing. ‘And, definitely the arts,’ she says enthusiastically.

‘Equality is important for people who have a learning disability to lead a life they want to,’ she says. ‘I use my voice. Some people don’t have a voice so I’m there to be a good support to them.’

Sarah loves getting awards, not only because they make her happy but because it sends an important message to the whole wide world. The message is people with a learning disability have independence and the right to independence. ‘Believe in yourself and be independent. Just be what you are,’ she says.

Learn more about equality and diversity at East Sussex County Council.

Training – know your rights

All new adult social care staff and health colleagues are trained about the issues affecting people with learning disabilities.

Sarah looks into the camera. text reads there's still more to me than a learning disability


Dominic helps us do that as an Adult Social Care trainer. He helps co-deliver Understanding Learning Disability training alongside the Involvement Matters Team.

He’s a great trainer because he has good listening and communication skills. He also has a good understanding of the rights of people with learning disabilities, Autism and Asperger’s, which he has.

‘I’m an expert in my own experience’ Dominic says. ‘I can share these to improve lives for adults with a learning disability.’

He adds: ‘Know your rights. Don’t let anybody tell you tell you different and make sure you get advice from the right people.’

How can I learn more?

Get the latest updates on the Involvement Matters Team and the Learning Disability Partnership Board on the East Sussex Learning Disability Partnership Board Facebook page.