The Big Issue was co-produced by people with learning disabilities  - The Coventry Observer

The Big Issue was co-produced by people with learning disabilities 

Holly Clement 23rd Jun, 2024   0

LAST week’s edition of the Big Issue, was co-produced entirely by people with learning disabilities, marking a significant milestone for representation in the media.

Among the contributors is Heidi Crowter from Coventry, who, along with her husband James, offers insightful film reviews in this unique issue.

The magazine’s release coincided with Learning Disability Week, and the theme, ‘Do you see me?’, focused on increasing visibility and understanding of people with learning disabilities in society.

Heidi Crowter, a Mencap Myth Buster and an active campaigner for change, was one of over 15 contributors of the special edition.

The issue also featured contributions from figures such as Team GB Paralympian swimmer Jessica-Jane Applegate, who discussed the challenges of living with a hidden disability, and CBeebies’ presenter George Webster, who shared a heartfelt letter to his younger self about his journey with a learning disability.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Mencap, said: “This powerful collaboration with the Big Issue put people with a learning disability at the heart of every story.

We are told that there is very little representation of people with a learning disability in the media, and we are trying to change that by working alongside one of the UK’s most recognised social enterprises to put their lives at the front and centre of every page.”

The publication aimed to shed light on the daily barriers and inequalities faced by the 1.5million people with learning disabilities in the UK.

Editor of the Big Issue, Paul McNamee, added: “People speak frequently about hearing from those who are often marginalised in society.

At the Big Issue, we believe in putting them and their stories front and centre.

Our collaboration with Mencap is yet another way we’re doing this – breaking new ground by putting this week’s Big Issue in the hands of people with a learning disability.”

To ensure accessibility, the Big Issue redesigned the publication with an altered color scheme for better contrast, larger fonts, and easy-read pullout boxes, making it more readable for people with learning disabilities.

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