As part of this year’s Learning Disability Week Mayor of Londonderry, Brenda Stevenson, and Mencap helped to launch the Department for Regional Development’s new Travel Safe Guide, aimed at helping young people and people with a learning disability travel safely and to stay safe when out and about.
Learning Disability Week 2014 celebrates people with a learning disability who overcome adversity and prejudice by experiencing their incredible firsts, like going to college for the first time, getting that first job or travelling alone to meet friends.
Launched in the north west at Foyle Street bus station, among those in attendance was Slaine Stannett, from the city who has undertaken Travel Safe training.
“Being able to travel gives me a feeling of independence, has built my confidence and has enabled me to travel to places I couldn’t go to before in the Cityside.
“Now I can choose when to go home. It has given me a real sense of freedom,” Slaine said.
“Before, my life was very dull because I was dependent on my family and friends to take me to and from places and the thought of travelling alone also made me anxious.
“Now I am more confident and able to travel where I want, when I want.”
The Travel Safe Guide was first published in 2005 but was updated after consultation with interest groups. Written in an easy-read style, it is fully supported by Translink and organisations working with people with a learning disability.
Copies of the guide are available on the DRD website at www.drdni.gov.uk/ats/ or by phoning 02890 540468.