A Parliamentary reception has showcased the work of BU’s Seen But Seldom Heard project, which aims to give young people with disabilities a voice through poetry and performance.
The reception was hosted by West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin and attended by a number of MPs, Paralympic athlete Ben Rushgrove and representatives from BU, Parliament and disability groups.
The event, which was part of UK Disability History Month, featured performances of poetry and songs by the young people from Poole’s Victoria Education Centre who have taken part in Seen But Seldom Heard, as well as screenings of short films.
Dr Carrie Hodges, who helps coordinate the Seen But Seldom Heard project, said: “I think it’s a great way to showcase three years of hard work and it also shows that the project’s message is being heard – the fact that we have been invited to come here and that a Parliamentary reception is being held on our behalf does endorse the project, I think.
“The project is about giving the young people a voice, so it’s great for them to have the chance to come to Westminster to share the issues that are important to them and feel like they can change things.”
She added: “Hopefully, some perceptions will be changed but we also want to communicate the power of the arts in enabling disabled people to have their voices heard.”
The event also marked the launch of an interactive poetry book of the young peoples’ work, which allows people to watch or listen to the work being performed alongside reading.
BU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Vinney, who attended the Parliamentary reception, said: “I am really proud of what we have achieved over the last couple of years and the event has been really moving and inspiring.
“It’s great to be here in front of key influencers, delivering a really important message to important people who can make a difference.”
Seen But Seldom Heard will now work with young disabled people and BU students to explore the experiences and challenges facing those aged 18 – 25, integrating citizen journalism projects alongside poetry and performance.
Find out more about Seen But Seldom Heard