Glasgow Disability Alliance referendum event and learning festival
Nearly 400 disabled people will gather in Glasgow tomorrow to discuss the issues effecting them around Scottish Independence.
Organised by Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) those attending will hear from Jackie Baillie MSP and Anne McGuire MP of Better Together and Patrick Harvie MSP and actor Elaine C Smith from Yes Scotland.
The Thistle Hotel event will be chaired by journalist and broadcaster Keith Aitken and runs from 9.45am -12.45pm.
Angela Mullen, GDA convenor, said: “Disabled people are cut off from accessible information, from making choices and from being in control of their own lives and futures. By providing transport and practical support, GDA is ensuring that disabled people have access to balanced information to make their choices. As importantly, the day provides opportunities to connect with others, build knowledge, skills and confidence and strengthen resilience which is much needed at this time”.
The session will also feature a performance by GDA’s Purple Poncho Players – a group of disabled people who portray their life experiences through short sketches, poetry and song.
They have prepared a special sketch for the day, written by Scottish actor, writer and director Sandy Nelson and directed by Scottish actor and director George Drennan.
The morning session is followed by GDA’s annual learning festival in the afternoon around the same theme of ‘Connect, Choose, Contribute’ with an emphasis on building social connections, wellbeing and resilience of disabled people.
The event will feature a keynote address by Colin Campbell on his evaluation of GDA’s Social Capital.
Campbell said: "The strong relationship networks identified are due to the emphasis GDA puts on providing opportunities for regular and repeated interaction across the large programme of activities that it delivers.
“These relationships are extremely valuable with people reporting their connection with GDA as life changing.
“Almost every member of GDA has a story of how their situation has improved as a result of joining, in many cases radically and I’ll be presenting my findings to over 380 disabled people in attendance”.
Tressa Burke, GDA’s chief executive added: “GDA has evidence that providing practical support and access, together with opportunities for learning and participation, can lead to positive outcomes for disabled people including improved wellbeing.
“GDA’s learning festival is part of many disabled peoples’ journeys towards better connections, better ability to cope and to make choices and contributions for their own lives and wider society. It is vital that disabled people get the chance to be connected and make these contributions.”
You can follow all the action on the day on twitter @GDA__online.