The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA, today opened the ‘My Journey My Voice’ exhibition at the Millennium Forum in Derry, as it celebrated its first anniversary on tour.
The exhibition is organised by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), with support from Disability Action and funding from the Health and Social Care Board.
It features portraits of nine participants, each with a speech, language or communication need, conveying a journey they have taken. The deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness said: “I am proud to support the ‘My Journey My Voice’ exhibition which is raising awareness and understanding about the speech, language and communications difficulties which people can face, and the impact it has on their daily lives.
“Almost 30,000 people here are listed as living with a long-term communication difficulty so this is a challenge many people and families are faced with. I can’t begin to imagine how challenging and potentially frustrating your day would be. The message of ‘My Journey My Voice’ ensures people with these specific needs are recognised and supported in public services. This project encourages people with a communication disability to participate more fully in public life.”
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists worked with Belfast photographer Laurence Gibson to deliver the ‘My Journey My Voice’ portraits and stories exhibition. Each participant featured in the exhibition has a communication disability and visitors will be able to view their portraits and listen to their voices as they each recount a memorable journey they have taken. Their stories will resonate with many as they include a once in a lifetime holiday, the first day of a new job, and a sunny day at the beach with an ice cream.
In closing Martin McGuinness said: “I congratulate the people involved and the organisers of this exhibition who are celebrating one year on the road by coming to the Millennium Forum in Derry. Having walked around the innovative and moving exhibition you can’t help but be gripped by the personal stories and journeys all the participants have been on. By raising awareness, ‘My Journey My Voice’ ensures people with a communication disability have a very personal and powerful way of raising awareness of the nature and impact of communication disabilities.”
The exhibition has been hosted at venues in Enniskillen, Belfast, Newtownabbey and Lisburn. The tour will continue into 2017 and will be hosted in libraries in Omagh, Lisnaskea and Downpatrick.
The exhibition will be on display to the public in the Millennium Forum until 27 October 2016.
Notes to editors:
- The exhibition can also be viewed online via: www.myjourneymyvoice.org/.
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