What having a job means to me

To mark Learning Disability Week, a Learning Disability Network Manager writes about his experience of having autism and working at NHS England:

I am very proud of my work at NHS England, where I co-work with colleagues who don’t have a learning disability or autism.

My job is to make sure information is easy to understand and helps people get involved with what we do.

In the three years I have been working here I have gained in confidence. I am now able to challenge anyone when it comes to accessibility, and help other people too.

I bring our team’s communication cards to all meetings: if people don’t understand what’s going on they can raise a red card. If they need the speaker to slow down they can use a yellow card. It helps people to think about accessibility.

I am very proud of my work on the NHS England easy read newsletter. Easy read is where you explain things with simple words and pictures.

We design the newsletter so that people with a learning disability, autism or both know what the organisation is working on and how they can influence it. In the latest newsletter we discussed:

  • transforming care for children and young people
  • stopping the over medication of people with a learning disability or autism (STOMP)
  • work to help people with a learning disability, autism or both, family carers and carers give feedback, raise a concern or make a complaint called Ask, Listen, Do
  • sharing information about  disabled people’s support needs – these are called reasonable adjustments.

I would also like to say thank you to the people at Dudley Voices for Choice for checking through the newsletter for us. It’s important always to check that your easy read is accessible with people with a learning disability, autism or both and to hear new ideas.

  • Learning Disability Week runs from June 18 to 24 and is an opportunity to share good practice and celebrate the positive differences people with a learning disability, autism or both, are making.  The theme of this year’s campaign is health and how we can all work together to make health and care services better. Find out more on the MENCAP website.
  • For more on Learning Disabilities, see our Learning Disabilities webpages.
Aaron Wood

Aaron Oxford is a Learning Disability Network Manager in the engagement team with NHS England, a job he started in August 2015. Aaron was born with a rare genetic mild disability called Kabuki Syndrome that affects one in 32,000 births worldwide and is autistic.

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