Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Dawn Wiltshire

Category: Changing communities

By helping to improve their independence, Dawn’s also helping to increase the opportunities available to people.

A decade of advocacy

Dawn is a key member of My Life My Choice and has a huge positive impact in supporting other members (and non-members) to speak up for themselves, and to access everything they need to live the best lives they can.

Dawn has been part of the charity My Life My Choice for over 10 years, playing a key role in almost all of their projects. In recognition of her experience and many years of hard work, Dawn was recently been promoted to Senior Consultant in My Life My Choice.

Dawn Changing communities LDA Leaders' List 2018

Currently Dawn works as a Travel Buddy trainer, Oxford Group member, Power Up Trainer, Quality Checker, Expert by Experience for CQC, campaign champion, and even amongst all that, she still manages to find the time to help run Stingray Nightclub.

Increasing independence

Through her work as a travel buddy, Dawn helps many people to gain the confidence to travel independently.

By helping to improve their independence, Dawn’s also helping to increase the opportunities available to people. In one case, Dawn helped a 19-year-old to attend her weekly dance class.

Changing communities LDA Leaders' List 2018
One young woman can now travel to her weekly dance classes, and more places.

She had previously been dependent on her mum and brother driving her to and from her classes. This increased independence meant the world to her, and as a result she has since taken on many more journeys, including commuting to work and travelling to the Stingray Nightclub.

Improving learning disability healthcare

Through her work as co-designer and co-presenter of the Leading Together Programme, Dawn also helps make positive changes to learning disability services.

The Leading Together Programme was developed to make sure that people are involved in creating healthcare systems that meet their needs. The programme provides a platform for professionals to listen and learn from the people who actually use the services they deliver.

The programme brings together people with learning disabilities and professionals from Oxford Health, Oxford County Council, TPC Health, and other organisations. Together they participate in equal conversations, learn new skills, co-build solutions and ultimately, help create a better system together.

As such, Dawn’s hard work enables people with learning disabilities to have their say and gain genuine interaction with the professionals who can make the changes they want to see.

Dawn does all of this despite having a learning disability and being registered blind. There are many barriers which result directly from these disabilities, as well as many barriers created by society’s limited perception of what people with learning disabilities are capable of. Every day, Dawn breaks down these barriers and shows others that they can too.

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