Annual One Walk returns to give people with disabilities a voice in Mansfield

An annual walk will be held to ensure people with learning disabilities feel welcome in Mansfield town centre.

OneWalk has been arranged for Thursday, June 20, to mark learning disabilities week.

One conversation, a disability support group who meet once a week to discuss how they can change people's perceptions, will be taking part in the walk

One conversation, a disability support group who meet once a week to discuss how they can change people's perceptions, will be taking part in the walk

The organisers hope the event will be a celebration of inclusion, showing solidarity and support for people with learning disabilities and demonstrating that everyone is valued and belongs in Mansfield.

One conversation, a disability support group who meet once a week to discuss how they can change people's perceptions, will be taking part in the walk, in a bid to make sure their voices are heard.

They also take part in frank and honest discussions of the stigma they face on a day-today basis, because of their disabilities.

Ryan Mcdavie, a 19 year old aspiring actor uses a wheelchair because of his quadriplegia and cerebral palsy.

He said he often gets stares when he is out and about, and it can be upsetting.

Ryan said: "I'd rather people just ask me about my disabilities, rather than just stare.

"People sometimes can be patronising when they speak to you, and that's not helping us, we are just as intelligent as anyone else."

Kris Steer, who has a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis said: "With One Conversation, we can change the world.

"It's 2019, and we shouldn't be facing any stigma in the 21st Century.

"The world needs to change, we might need more time to do what we need, for example, and we want people to just be patient, and see us for who we are, not our disabilities."

The One Conversation Group hope to soon go into schools and businesses, to spread their message of inclusion, and educate people about disabilities.

They will also hold drop-in sessions at The Hive in the Four Seasons and The Capo Lounge.

The group hope they can challenge stigma, stereotypes and isolation through friendly conversations.

Nick, aged 21, says she has seen family members experience discrimination, and has also faced it herself.

Nick, who has autism and non-epileptic attack disorder said: "We can't change the whole world, but we can change some people's views.

"The more people that understand us, the less stigma will exist, and we will be treated as equals.

"Employers need to open up to the idea of employing people with disabilities."

George Powell, 24, who also has autism, said the representation of people with autism in the media look dramatically different from the majority of people who have the condition.

He said: "We are portrayed in a way that seems to only show a meltdown, and not what we're really like."

The One conversation group will be heading up One Walk, and invite all members of the public to come along, show their support, and ask any questions they may have.

They will meet at the Market Place at 10.30am, where the Atmosphere Glee Choir will perform.

The walk will start at 11am, lead my Mansfield District Corp of Drums, and the walk will finish at midday.

For more information, email Tracy or Brad at office.onewalk.@gmail.com

Or visit facebook.com/equalsafelivinglife/

Call 07713 498 708

The group will also be in The Hive in the Four Seasons on the following dates:

Monday, June 24 11am-3pm

Saturday, June 29 11am-3pm

Saturday, July 6 11am-3pm

And at The Capo Lounge on the following dates:

Monday July 15 3.30pm-5.30pm

Wednesday 24 July 1.30am-12.30pm

Friday August 2 5pm-7pm