We've been working with the BBC Southwest Inside Out team for about three months now, to produce a short documentary about antenatal screening and support for new families, as well as highlighting the need to liaise with medical professionals to improve their terminology at point of diagnosis.
|Available to watch here on BBC Inside Out|
The crew filmed at our local Looking Up support group...
|Looking Up support group in Cornwall|
and filmed Natty in action on a modelling photo shoot at Frugi headquarters.
|Natty models for Frugi|
and followed Natty and I to Edinburgh to shoot footage at the NEHS Scotland LDAN conference, which trains midwifery and nursing students in working with patients with a learning disability.
|Natty addresses medical students at LDAN in Edinburgh|
Last week the gut-wrenching day dawned for Downs Side Up and the Cornwall Downs Syndrome Support Group as the piece was due to air. We needed lots of chocolate to get us through the nail-biting experience I can tell you!
We were excited, yet nervous. About the edit, about how the public would perceive the piece, and actually just emotionally drained after all the writing, speaking and filming, so drained that for the first time in my blogging career I turned down a radio interview. My brain just couldn't find the words. I was afraid.
Throughout the day local BBC News covered the story, Angie Emrys-Jones took to the mic and did a fabulous job. They were mostly looking at different angles on Non Invasive Prenatal Testing, perhaps wanting a polarised bun-fight... but she continued to talk of unbiased support for families to make decisions that are right for them, without pressure either way.
You can watch the full BBC Inside Out programme presented by Gemma Woodman and produced by Simon Read here at 10 minutes in.
|Bonnie was constantly asked if she wanted a termination|
Bonnie Davis talks openly and bravely of the number of times she was asked if she was sure she didn't want a termination during her pregnancy.
It scratches the surface of the ethical considerations around NIPT, of the support given to new families, of the importance of inclusion in society in order to make disability part of 'the norm', but it provides a very good start point.
The most poignant part of the programme for me was hearing test creator Professor Chitty stop herself saying the word 'risk' of Down's syndrome, and changing it mid-sentence to 'chance'.
That, and hearing a trainee midwife say that she would change her terminology to make sure it was not loaded and she would share what she had learnt with her colleagues.
|Midwives pledge to change their language at point of diagnosis|
This is how the ripple effect works. These are the subtle changes that will make a world of difference.