Curiosity Live was held on the 9-11th of November 2018 at the Glasgow Science Centre. This was a weekend dedicated to celebrating research, innovation and creativity going on in Glasgow and across Scotland, involving external Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professionals from universities and industry delivering engaging and educational activities to family audiences.
The Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory and People First attended this fabulous and interactive venue for their first collaboration on a co-designed public engagement activity about the health and lives of people with learning disabilities in Scotland. We developed a game that involved players progressing round a board that represents the key aspects of a person’s life: going through education, going to work, making friends, for example. We started to think how these things can be made harder for people with learning disabilities, so we came up with The keys to life game!
Players progress around the board encountering some of the positive and negative things that people with learning disabilities may experience at key points in their life. Depending on where the player lands or card selected, players could either progress through the game or go backwards. The cards and the ‘life encounters’ on the game were based on research from the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory or drawn from real life experiences of people with learning disabilities. For example, a player could pick up an education card which says:
You are getting to the end of your time at school but you are not supported to go to college or university, move back 2 spaces
OR a money and work card which says:
You apply for a job in a coffee shop and you were supported to fill in the form, move forward 3 spaces
The first of three days was launched by Maureen from People First who spoke about her experiences of having learning disabilities and how this can influence a range of factors including health, money and work, social life, family and friends and education. Maureen explained how these experiences were translated into the game and invited people to take part. Members of the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory were able to provide further links to research about the health of people with learning disabilities in Scotland.
The event attracted a wide range of people, and there was an abundance of excited children, parents and teachers who were primed to enthusiastically take part in activities. Children engaged with the game throughout the three days and gave positive feedback and shared drawings of their experiences of playing the game.
The collaboration between the Observatory and People First was extremely valuable and we believe the opportunity to hear first hand from people with learning disabilities greatly enriched the experience for all the young people and adults who took part.
With a range of activities at the event across different fields including health, social science, technology, engineering, art and mathematicians, this was a fantastic chance for the public and ourselves to find out more about the amazing work going on across Glasgow and Scotland.
Opened my eyes to the potential difficulties faced by people with learning disabilities
We will see you at Curiosity Live 2019!