Advocating for the right care
50-year-old Dr Daniel Docherty has dedicated half his life to improving services for people with learning disabilities. Daniel has a learning disability and autism himself; he spent 10 years in a long stay hospital so knows how important good care and support is.
Daniel now uses his experience of this to train students, NHS staff and the police.
He shares stories of good and bad input from social workers, nurses, psychologists, speech and language therapists, and other professionals over the years.
Daniel also talks about his life, such as what it was like to get diagnosed with autism, how his communication passport helps him, and what good support looks like.
Daniel is very proactive and passionate and will campaign for things he believes in and will fight to make a positive difference.
For example, this year he has been involved in a campaign to #letourfriendsrestinpeace over plans to build a car park over a cemetery in Calderstones, where some of his friends are buried.
He notably declared that people with learning disabilities are sometimes treated like second class citizens, and that we need to stand up for people to have the same rights as everyone else.
Daniel helped make a film to raise awareness about this and has spoken out at conferences and local events.
He has also recently started volunteering on a project looking at older people with learning disabilities and how they can be more involved in their communities and prevent social isolation.
Over the years Daniel has grown in confidence and used this to fight for greater rights.
In 2016, Daniel was awarded an honorary degree from Salford University for making a positive difference to the lives of people with a learning disability.
This is something he is incredibly proud of. Not only for what it means to him himself, but also for the recognition that people with learning disabilities can achieve such accomplishments. He is a positive role model for others and is a deserving winner in the 2018 Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List.