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Challenging stereotypes

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Challenging stereotypes thumbnailStefan Clarke who has made a film challenging ‘negative and patronising’ attitudes people display towards those with learning difficulties.

BALLYMONEY man Stefan Clarke, 21, wants to challenge 'negative and patronising' attitudes people display towards those with learning difficulties.
A man with learning disabilities wants people to stop patronising him after he went to buy something and the shop-keeper served his companion instead.
In the film he has made with Fixers - the charity which gives young people a voice - Stefan Clarke, 21, explains how he wants to be treated like everyone else.
Stefan says: 'My campaign is about challenging the negative and patronising attitudes people often display towards people with learning disabilities.
“I want people to know that I'm more than capable. They shouldn't make assumptions."
Stefan made the film with friends from a community support group who also report being treated differently.
He says: 'Often when we are out and about in the local community, in shops, on public transport and so on we are viewed with suspicion, avoided or patronised."
The film shows Stefan buying a candle and being spoken to in a condescending way by the shop assistant.
“The example in the film of being patronised in the shop by a shop keeper is just one real life example of how I and others in the group have been treated poorly by people," he says.
“We hope this will challenge people watching it to think about how they engage with others.
“People need to know that they shouldn't talk down to us or deal directly with a support worker instead of us when they interact with us."
Stefan and the group plan to share the film online and hope it makes people aware of how much they're capable of doing.
He adds: 'We want to show that although there are things that we can't do, there are plenty of things that we can, and do, do well.

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