“She’s behind you! Oh no she isn’t – the lead actor’s support wasn’t authorised!”

As I’m always saying at Stay Up Late “we don’t actually care what time you go to bed, but we do care if you don’t get to make that choice”.

Over the years we’ve heard loads of stories where the system gets in the way of people with learning disabilities doing things in life that they would enjoy and value.

What we sadly know is that it’s common for people with learning disabilities to not be able to take part in those things that many of us take for granted, but additionally in a way that totally undervalues them as a human.

We’ve heard examples of performers being taken off stage during a show as their support worker needed to go home, or being taken away from a football match to avoid the crowds (and miss the winning goals) and a man who’s dream of seeing his football team play a rare match at Wembley were dashed by staff who didn’t see it as important.

No you can’t go to the ball!

This week I’ve received an email from an exasperated mum who was asking for a couple of hours extra support to enable her daughter to have some backstage support to get ready for her college’s Christmas concert. As you’ll see from the social worker’s text this is not something which can be funded as it’s not seen as a crisis.

These sorts of events are special occasions that can’t be re-created and the mum is being asked to self-fund her daughter’s support for a few hours so she can be part of the council funded college’s Christmas celebration.

We were wondering if this sort of situation is common, or whether people have found local authorities to be more understanding in these circumstances?

Also we do love the way the mum has vented her frustration with this panto inspired image which tells the whole story.

Share your experiences

Do comment below if you have any experiences like this, or thoughts on what can be done?

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