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Susie explains how artist Robin Meader uses his lived experience to contribute to work on improving the quality of life for people with a learning disability or autism or both:
Such people have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else to live satisfying and valued lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
They should have the opportunity to live in their own homes, to develop and maintain positive relationships and to get the support they need to be healthy, safe and an active part of society.
Don’t you agree that everyone has the right to a good and meaningful life?
As part of the learning disabilities programme of work, we try to keep our messages and communications as simple and straightforward as possible; so I attended a course in Leeds on producing ‘easy read’ documents – and that’s where I met Robin Meader, an artist who was producing images and drawings of the day’s training.
As the day was progressing and Robin was drawing, it occurred to me that it would be great if I could get Robin to help with one of the projects I was working on. This is when I introduced Robin to the MOOC! No, I didn’t know what it was either, but I can explain…
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course – which is open to anyone with an interest in transforming services and support for people with a learning disability, autism or both – including carers and people with lived experience – all you have to do is register.
Currently 700 people are registered on the course – which is much bigger than we ever expected. We also have our own Yammer group where we network with others.
In a nutshell, the course aims to:
- introduce some techniques to unite everyone to a shared purpose by using the technique of ‘story-telling’ to connect organisations in transforming care and support for people with a learning disability, autism or both
- introduce some tried and tested improvement methods and tools such as driver diagrams, to help Transforming Care Partnerships deliver their local plans
- and introduce Positive Behavioural Support and how care in a secure environment works
Hopefully the course will not only help people understand issues and solve problems, but help shift attitudes and behaviours too.
Now we’ve had a bit of background, let’s go back to our artist: Robin has lived experience of a learning disability which made him ideal for doing our drawings. He goes through each module of the MOOC in detail – listening to the presentations and watching the videos to understand the key themes. He then produces a set of drawings that represent the main points of the module as he sees it.
The pictures are brilliant, as they capture issues from the perspective of the actual person. For that reason, we wanted to use them as widely as possible, and not let them fester in a file somewhere.
We are currently using them in a twitter campaign. From July to September we will Tweet the images to invite engagement around various topics and issues. We have also linked the images to the MOOC modules, recordings of webinars we host, and the ten high impact actions – you can join the conversation using #TransformingCare. Afterwards we’ll compile a report to share with the national team.
Robin, myself and Lynne Winstanley, Director of the Sustainable Improvement Team at NHS England, will also be showcasing the drawings on the NHS England stand at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2017 at Manchester central on the 11 and 12 September.
We will be presenting a 30 minute session showing the images, and footage of Robin creating them. Robin will be talking about how and why he puts what he does in the drawings and will actually be creating some on the stand – so you might even end up in the finished artwork if you come along. You will also be able to ask him questions about the images. We will be ‘live’ at 1:30pm on Monday 11 September on the NHS England stand.
There will also be some postcards of the images – plus the high impact actions – to collect on the day.