Sara Pickard – Self-Advocate representing Europe

My name is Sara Pickard, I work for Mencap Cymru in Cardiff. The reason I wanted to be part of Inclusion International’s council is to represent those people with disabilities.

Some people with learning disabilities live their lives in a certain way. They don’t believe that their voice matters. I think it is really important that they are being shown by someone who has a learning disability, just like them, stepping up and using their voice.

Sara is 30 years old and has down syndrome. She has worked for Mencap Cymru for the past 8 years delivering training to young people with learning disabilities in schools and colleges throughout Wales through two major projects. Sara has also worked as a volunteer on projects for those with learning difficulties in Lesotho and Botswana and spoke about this work at the World Down’s Syndrome Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in 2012.

In March 2014 Sara spoke about health issues at the launch of the DSA’s Health Book for Adults with Down Syndrome a the House of Commons in London and also spoke at the Health and Wellbeing- Access and Equality for All Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She has served as an elected Councillor on her local Community Council for the past 6 years and take great pride in ensuring that the needs of those with disabilities in her local community are brought to the attention of the Community Council. She is very passionate about connecting with young people who have learning disabilities through her work and has been involved in a number of TV and radio programmes and interviews in relation to her work, and her interest in drama. She has reviewed the newspapers, live on Radio Wales on two occasions and conducted several live radio interviews on current disability issues. Sara is also a Trustee of her local Down’s Syndrome Support Group.