Over the last ten years John Keaveny has campaigned tirelessly to improve healthcare services for people with learning disabilities. He has Downs Syndrome and uses his personal experience to inform the training he delivers to healthcare professionals.
As recognition of his work, John has been named on the first ever Learning Disabilities and Autism Leaders List which was recently published by The Guardian. He was chosen from over 600 entries to be included in this register which celebrates people determined to bring about social change.
John’s drive to make a difference was born out of his own experience over ten years ago, when he collapsed at home and was rushed into hospital with breathing difficulties. He remained there for four weeks and found the experience difficult and confusing.
“When I was in hospital I felt that people working there made the mistake of thinking that I couldn’t understand what was being said or done,” explains John. They talked about me, my health and my treatment without explaining to me what was happening. It was a horrible and frightening experience and afterwards I wanted to make sure no one else would have to put up with the same treatment.”