An Armagh support worker says she was left stunned and upset with the reaction she received from several city shops over the weekend.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, went into a number of shops in Armagh on Saturday with a resident with severe learning difficulties but the reactions she says both her and the resident encountered were downright “nasty”.
Speaking to Armagh I, the woman who works professionally with people with learning difficulties, said: “I love my job, I couldn’t imagine working as anything else but I was stunned and upset with what I saw and heard at the weekend.
“I went into a few shops around Armagh on Saturday. I was with a resident who has severe learning difficulties, amongst other illnesses.
“We encountered a woman who stared at us and then said, ‘you shouldn’t have a person like that in a shop!’
“As you could imagine I had plenty of words to say back to this woman but had to hold back. I told her how narrow-minded and uneducated she was and I just left the shop.
“This happens a lot, people making sly remarks and comments. It’s infuriating, the sheer ignorance.”
She added: “I just wanted to highlight these incidents as we are all people, we are no different, and have every right to be in any sort of shop just like any other person.
“I am just trying to give the people with no voice, a voice. I can’t stop thinking about how uneducated and narrow minded people really are.
“This isn’t the first time this has happened, or there has been a nasty comment, so I would like to raise awareness of this horrific issue.”
This comes after the recent launch in Armagh of the JAM card which allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or Asperger’s to tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily.
Those with a communication barrier are often reluctant or unable to tell others about their condition. JAM Card allows this to happen in a simple, effective non-verbal manner.
Find out more about the card/app here.