Founder of See Me As Me
Wendy is a leading self-advocate, disability activist and consultant, and she runs her own organisation See Me As Me. Wendy championed and co-authored an accessible version of Keys to Citizenship with Simon Duffy to make the idea of citizenship relevant to everyone.
Wendy has been one of the leading champions for self-directed support and individual budgets. She was one of the first people with learning difficulties to get her own direct payment and also the first person to get an individual budget in her local area. She has also worked to help other people get individual budgets and develop their own support plans. In her own life she has shown how individual budgets can be used creatively to get better outcomes; for example she has used her budget to get physio through personal coaching at her local gym, making friends and a contribution to the community.
Wendy worked as a consultant for Paradigm where she trained people with disabilities and families about independent living, individual budgets and support plans. Probably the first person with learning difficulties to be employed in this kind of work. Wendy provided training for social care staff and families to help people to see that people with difficulties can have the same lives as anyone else, with or without support.
She has provided training on direct payments, involving people with learning difficulties, person-centred planning, making information accessible, developing self-advocacy, self-determination, evaluation and leadership training for people with learning difficulties. She is a determined advocate for people's rights.
Wendy has also worked for St George's Hospital. Wendy was a pioneer in training medical students to understand the needs of people with learning difficulties. Wendy was a co-author of two of the first accessible books for people with learning difficulties.
Wendy was involved in developing the government policy, Valuing People, a critical policy that introduced a human rights approach to services for people with learning difficulties and accelerated deinstitutionalisation and the personalisation of health and social care. She was a key author of The Good Practice Guide to Health and Deciding Together which are policies to help people get the right help and support.
Wendy was Chair of the local Partnership Board. Her work focused on improving health and other services for people with learning difficulties and making investments in local innovation.
Wendy is one of Britain’s leading self-advocates and has co-authored a number of publications, including a chapter in Learning Disability Today, a number of books in the Books Beyond Words series, as well as being a contributor to Mencap’s newsletter, Viewpoint.
Wendy lives in Hammersmith, in London. She is an avid Arsenal supporter, Mac user and has been a DJ, under the name ‘Hotwheels.' Wendy is proud to live as a citizen, showing that people with disabilities can live full and positive lives, under their own control. She wants others to benefit from freedom and the keys to citizenship. She always wants to try new things.