Advocacy Awareness Week: Inclusion of People with a Learning Disability in Education

Posted 07/11/2023

Jordan Allan, Service Quality Director for Thera (Scotland) recently visited a local school to talk about his life experiences as someone with lived experience of a learning disability.

Jordan Allan is the Service Quality Director for Thera (Scotland).

The role of a Service Quality Director (also known as an SQD) is to work alongside the Managing Director to create plans for how the company should run. Their role involves using their lived experience of a learning disability to check the quality of the support provided by the company and to make sure people supported get the support they want.

Recently Thera (Scotland) was approached by a local school to speak about inclusion and bullying in education. Jordan, Thera (Scotland)’s SQD, met with the headteacher over Microsoft Teams to see if it was something he could do.

He explained that he had never done a presentation on this scale before, in front of an entire primary school, but it was something he was keen to take part in. This was something that was out of his comfort zone, however after taking part he now feels more confident to do more visits like this in the future and get Thera’s name out there.

Before the visit, Jordan prepared his presentation with his Executive Assistant, Emma, and they worked on making it as interactive as possible. On the day of the talk, Jordan did the whole presentation and journey to the school on his own, which is a massive personal achievement for him and one the Thera (Scotland) board were really impressed with.

Jordan’s presentation involved him speaking out about his own experiences and interacting with the pupils. The pupils shared what they wanted to be when they grew up and raised their hands when they wanted to ask Jordan a question. He expressed how he hopes if people with a learning disability went into schools to discuss their experiences it could help bullying to decrease over time.

This visit has demonstrated that people need to hear the real-life stories of people that have a learning disability and autism have been through, especially when it often involves a difficult school journey. As Jordan said, Some pupils in the education system might not feel like they belong, or they may feel the loneliness that can come from exclusion. By seeing Jordan’s presentation and listening to his life experiences, it could help them feel less alone.

As Emma, Jordan’s Executive Assistant, said:
By advocating and sharing their experience it could help someone who is trying to get a diagnosis or who feels different.

The feedback Jordan received from the school was extremely positive and that he has given them so much to think about.

Overall, Jordan thought the visit was very successful, the school really valued him coming to talk to them and it is something he is hoping to do more often in the future.

Find out more about the role of a Service Quality Director