I’m lots of different things at once

Rachel Turner, Shared Lives Plus ambassador, spoke at the Learning disabilities and autism: promoting positive outcomes conference in Manchester on March 12, 2019. Rachel spoke about her own experiences and positive outcomes, which she described more succinctly as “stories with happy endings.” Below is a short extract from her speech, and if you would like to read the whole thing you can download it here

“Hello, my name is Rachel Turner, I am a Shared Lives ambassador for Shared Lives Plus. I am a citizen, a Disney fan, a self-advocate, a Manchester United supporter. I have Asperger’s syndrome, and, in case you were wondering. Yes, I am transgender.

“I was a bit worried about telling you that, but I think these days people are more broad-minded than they used to be, so I’ll say it again.

“I support Man U and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

“The point is I’m not just a Man U fan or a person who has Asperger’s. I’m lots of different things all at once. I know that is sort of obvious but sometimes it is important to talk about the obvious.

“I have learnt it is important because sometimes people look at me and make assumptions about what I can do depending on what version of me they see. Sometimes people see Rachel the self-advocate doing things like this and they make an assumption that I must be really confident and able to do lots of things.

“Making assumptions means deciding something is true without any proof.

“With people who have an obvious disability the assumption is often that they can’t do something. With me, It’s the other way around. I feel that most of the time when I’m getting judged, people probably think I can do lots of things, and lots of times I can. The difference is, for me to do the things I do, I need to have support, and it must be the right support from someone who knows me well…”

To read Rachel’s full speech, download it here.

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