World Autism Awareness Week 2019
“Society should be more accepting of people and not assume they can’t do things… we need to celebrate difference and make sure that people recognise what great things people with disabilities can do.” – Amber
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves! To celebrate Autism Awareness Week 2019, Venture Arts would like to share a short film about inspirational leader, Amber Okpa-Stother.
In her own words, Amber tells us about her journey from attending Venture Arts as an artist 11 years ago, to becoming a spokesperson and advocate for learning disabled people in the arts and education and a fully fledged Venture Arts employee.
Amber Okpa-Stother is a spokesperson and advocate for learning disabled people in the arts and education. She began her journey at Venture Arts when she joined our Young People’s Art Club over 11 years ago.
Amber is a brilliant artist but as she has grown up, she’s becoming an inspirational leader.
She has worked on several of Venture Art’s Schools Projects, passing on her art skills to primary children. During one of these projects, in response to some negative reactions from pupils, she took it upon herself to devise an assembly to teach children about learning disability, promoting understanding and acceptance.
It’s so important for young people to experience difference from an early age. Shockingly, 56% of disabled people report having experienced ‘hostility, aggression or violence from a stranger’ because of their disability (ComRes, 2011). In her work with schoolchildren, Amber helps to combat statistics like this.
Amber has achieved many more brilliant things through Venture Arts, including several work placements in museums and galleries; chairing Venture Arts’s learning disabled steering group, and advising arts and cultural bodies about learning disability.
Amber’s time on our Schools Projects gave her valuable employment skills. We’re thrilled to say that she’s now Venture Arts’ Public Engagement Assistant, working on reception and representing us at events – we couldn’t be more proud.
Thanks to Martin Livesey for making this film.