OUTSIDE the Box marked Learning Disability Week with a powerful exhibition at two prominent Ilkley locations, The Grove Bookshop and Outside the Box Café at The Arcade on South Hawksworth Street.

The "Do You See Me?" exhibition aims to provide an honest portrayal of individuals with learning disabilities and at the same time challenge some of the misconceptions and myths about people with a learning disability. Each photograph captures the essence of the person in a single take, highlighting their unique personalities and stories. Complementing the exhibition, Outside the Box premiered a compelling video bringing the stories and messages of the individuals who took part to life.

“Each year, the third week of June is national Learning Disability Week and the theme for this year was ‘Do you see me?” We wanted to reflect this in our celebrations across the week so we thought using images to help our clients and members to be seen, heard and valued in our local community was a great idea”, says Emma Rogerson, Services Manager at Outside the Box. “The photographs and film are really impactful and are proving to be a very effective way of spreading awareness of the unique talents and abilities of people who have a learning disability as well as more understanding of the work we do at Outside the Box.”

Alongside the exhibition, the charity has been showcasing the achievements of adults with a learning disability who attend training and work experience sessions in the Café with special cakes and biscuits made by members and promoting the myth-busting views of their clients.

Eve Marran, a member of the OTB Café team expressed what she thought about the display and why it is so important to be seen: “I have autism, I think it’s important for people to see me for who I am, an honest person with a disability”

Richard Allen, a long-standing member of Outside the Box has said about the week and the Do You See Me exhibition: “I like to see everyone’s pictures with mine, it’s nice to see my friends happy. Everyone looks so happy”

Amy Day, the charity’s Marketing and Communications Officer, added: "We have had lots of positive feedback on our exhibition so far with people telling us how striking and thought provoking it is. It certainly has got people thinking and talking about the amazing things people with a learning disability can do and the issues that they face in their everyday lives. That’s just what we wanted! We would invite everyone to visit the Café or The Grove Bookshop to take a look at it. If you can't visit then please do take a look at our social media where you can see and follow all our Learning Disability Week celebrations.”