Free editing lessons for learning disability stories in Cardiff

Filmed and edited by Xiru Li

Several volunteers in Cardiff are being taught how to edit audio stories shared by people with a learning disability in Wales. A project named Our Social Networks is providing free training lessons at the Cardiff Story Museum.

This project was launched by a UK charity named Mencapwhich is working to create awareness for people with learning disabilities and supporting their families and carers.

“We want people with a learning disability to be able to experience friendships and love like any other person,” says Paul Hunt, senior manager of the project. He adds that, they are trying to capture stories from people aged 18-25 and aged 45 plus to look at differences between generations.

Volunteers are learning editing skills during one of the sessions Photo: CNP

“We do give people an option to be filmed, but I think a lot of people are nervous on cameras. Most people choose audio because it’s less scary for them,” he explains.

The whole training sessions will take six weeks from 18 February to 25 March.

All the oral history recordings that the volunteer edit, come from interviews and conversations between people with learning disabilities. Some of them talk about their personal and private experience for the first time, such as holiday, friendships, first kiss and love.

Photo: Mencap

Sara Drysdale, one of the volunteers in the project, says that in addition to learning several audio editing skills, such as decreasing the background noise, labelling the section, adjusting the voice and etc., they will be taught some interview tips, relative ethics, law and copyright information in class as well.

Before this project, Mr Hunt told Cardiff news plus that he was not very familiar with editing, but has learnt a lot of editing knowledge by himself in order to teach the volunteers. “It can save a lot of money,” he adds.

According to Mencap, there are about 70,000 people with a learning disability in Wales, however, only a quarter of them are known to social services. They say this project is trying to raise people’s awareness of those issues since the voice of learning disability deserves to be valued equally and listened to.

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