The Good Life: Leigh
I’m very passionate about human rights. We all have our own rights, our own voice and we can speak up for ourselves. It’s about overcoming barriers and changing perceptions.
One of my biggest achievements was that I was one of the disability advocates that closed down a major institution near my home town.
Being born with down syndrome, I went to a special school. It was during the 80’s and 90’s and my Mum and Dad were very protective parents, so they made that decision for me. If it was my decision, I would have gone to a mainstream school.
I had no voice and control over my life. I was being told what to do every day. How to act and how to eat and things like that. I’ve been through it all, and I certainly don’t want that for other people with disability.
I want parents to know that it is OK to have a child with Down Syndrome. We are human beings, and just like anyone else, we want to love and give the gift of love. We want independence. We want to get married, work, have a business.
It’s OK to let go and also help people with disability so that they can be independent and do awesome things with their life.
I love my life, I love my disability as well. It makes me who I am. I live my life to the very fullest. Going to nightclubs and music festivals. Spending time with the people I love, family and friends. I love the beach, sunsets, going on cruises, drinking cocktails, taking selfies, camping and travelling, especially overseas. You know that’s the good life.
I want people who have Down syndrome to know they can live their life to the fullest and do what makes them happy.
For me, building a good life means having more adventures of a lifetime. Being connected to the people in my life circle. Being loved is most important thing. Working towards my goals and dreams.
I have a dream to make a difference and make a world that is better for all.
Leigh was the recipient of the Hunter Diversity and Inclusion Collective’s 2022 Person of the Year, the Golden Pineapple Award. He is currently working on writing his memoir. You can follow more of his good life on Instagram and Facebook.
In our social media series #StoriesOfTheGoodLife we explore what a good life means for people with disability. People from all walks of life, living rich, full and meaningful lives on their own terms.
A note from Kindred: In 80s and 90’s the majority of Australian children with disability were educated in special schools and classes (in 1998 only 17% of children were educated in a mainstream settings*). Kindred recognise that the options available for children with disability, and their families during this time were incredibly limited. And that to this day, parents and carers are still being faced with difficult decisions, when their children don’t have access to the services and supports they need. it is thanks to the work of disability advocates like Leigh Creighton, that the rights of people with disability have been strengthened over time and the supports available for their families and carers are continuing to increase.
* Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2004. Children with disabilities in Australia.
Funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.