On Wednesday 4 May 2022, we came together at Stratford Campus to take part in the Multimedia Advocacy graduation event.
This was the first time, in a very long while, that we’d had the opportunity to dress up, meet face to face and celebrate achievements in a large group. There was much excitement in the lead-up to the event and during the graduation ceremony itself.
Attendees included staff and people with a lived experience of learning disability and autism from WEL Enterprise and Airthrie Homes, UEL Social Work students, our Rix inclusive co-research team, and staff from Digital Unite.
The first certificates to be handed out were for Taking part and completing the advocacy pathway and developing multimedia skills. These were awarded to people from Airthrie, a residential home, Link Place and Woodbine day centres, part of WEL Enterprise.
The happiness, joy and tears of the new graduates on receiving their certificates was a truly inspiring to witness. It made me realise that people with a lived experience of disability do not often get the opportunity to celebrate their achievements, be these big or small.
The Airthrie residents volunteered to present certificates to the UEL Social Work students for Completing and participating in the advocacy pathway placement. Our social work students had been working closely with students at Charlton Park Academy, residents from Airthrie Homes as well as people attending WEL Enterprise day centres, to help them develop their person centred Wikis.
Last, but not least, certificates were presented to our very own inclusive co-research team in recognition of how much they have developed their multimedia self-advocacy and research skills and for taking part in the Digital Unite Aspire Project, becoming Aspire champions in the process.
The atmosphere during the whole graduation event was electric. The jubilation and delight on peoples’ faces as they met, clapped, cheered and spoke with each other after the graduation was wonderful to behold.
Kanchan Kerai, Rix team member and senior administrator at Rix Research & Media