We suggest a project of a group of young disabled people tasked to report on their experiences of being disabled and accessing services, access to life chances and transition to adulthood.
We would ask each young person to complete a life diary and to detail their experiences of being a disabled person, accessing services and ease of or thoughts on transition into adulthood.
Audit requires looking in detail at a physical environment, systems and processes and how things are implemented. This project is designed to be participatory and to enable access by teaching appropriate skills. It will enable a small group of disabled people to learn skills of looking at and assessing their environment and their lives and making recommendations. It will use principles of the social model of disability and life time learning. It is beginning a process of empowerment for individuals.
We will increase skills of problem solving and negotiation by equipping disabled young people to be aware of the barriers in the community and the types of solutions available. We will show participants how to effectively communicate with the various statutory authorities, like health and social services, they meet.
By building person centred life maps, the participants will be enabled to have an effect on the quality of services provided by others. A person centred life map is a map of the issues in someone’s life, the relevant people and organisations, and a list of priorities for action.
We will be creating a detailed photographic, web based and printed record of how young disabled people experience their world.
We will be enabling disabled people to report the barriers they meet and to argue for change.
We will audit that outdoor and indoor spaces are accessible and create a league table of their quality and flow.
A significant part of this project is to give participants the experience of managing the project. An excellent life map and guide will have a significant health and wellbeing vector. By highlighting the experience of being a disabled person, this creates better understanding of the “other”