Irlen Ambassador Jennifer Owen, 27 from Merthyr Tydfil has taken her campaign to get Irlen Syndrome recognised in schools to a national level. Jennifer was invited to hold a Irlen Awareness’ event in Parliament after her successful event last year in the Welsh Assembly. Jennifer gives a personal response below to her advocacy activities.
Photo Credit by Up Coming
I had a meeting with my A.M. Dawn Bowden and my M.P. Gerald Jones, Dawn suggested ” We could hold an awareness day at The Welsh Assembly” I was totally shock and excited about taking my campaign called the ‘Voice for people with Irlen Syndrome’ with my aim of those living with Irlen syndrome beckcoming recognised by the NHS and in schools.
I didn’t expect my event to so be successful, Hannah and I gave our speeches about living with Irlen Syndrome and the issues we face on daily basis.
It was an amazing experience to hold an event at The Welsh Assembly and for Dawn to take forward Irlen Syndrome and the associated issues to. The Welsh Assembly holds a special place in my heart because it was the start of our campaign moving forward and that the politicians started listening to us.
Jennifer and Hannah meet Gerald Jones M.P.
Photo credit Up & Coming
Jennifer was then invited to hold a Irlen Awareness’ event in Parliament after her successful event last year in the Welsh Assembly. On Tuesday 28 March she headed up a group of Irlen representatives and supporters for the event which was hosted by Gerald Jones MP for Merthyr and Rhymney.
Hanna Miller, Irlen campaigner said:
‘It was great opportunity to go to Westminster as Irlen ambassador to campaign for the condition due to no funding for the lenses and lack of awareness in schools to have Irlen screeners in every school.’
The event started with a warm welcome from Gerald Jones MP followed by speeches from Jennifer and Hannah Miller talking about their experiences with Irlen syndrome. After that there was a discussion about the issues people with the condition are facing on daily basis – like being refused coloured paper. MP’s Stephen Doughty (Penarth and South Cardiff), Carolyn Harris (Swansea) and Chris Elmore (Ogmore) were among the politicians who came to hear the views and engaged in debate.
Jennifer said of the day:
‘Getting our voices heard in Parliament is remarkable and one that will never be forgotten because of how important the condition is. It was so important to able to educating the people in power about the way they are treating people with Irlen syndrome – as at the moment it is so wrong! I am so gratefully to my own MP Gerald Jones for hosting this event and to other M.P.’s like Stephan Doughty for being interested in learning about Irlen Syndrome.”
The event helped to raise awareness of Irlen syndrome and to educate people about the implications it can have on a person’s whole life. The campaigners hope that Irlen will be officially recognised, especially in schools where it can have a huge impact on the learning outcomes for young people.
Jennifer is a member of the Up and Coming project based in Merthyr Tydfil. Some of the information in Jennifer’s article first appeared on the website below.