Optalis’ Have Your Say conference put the focus firmly on the service user, operating under the premise of “run by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities”, in a day that seen some people vote for the very first time.

The conference aimed to underline the importance of people with learning disabilities retaining control and choice over their own lives and care to “ensure customers are involved in enhancing, developing and creating services that deliver the best possible experience”, inviting customers to vote on matters to help the company reach this aim by 2020.

The event allowed service users to discuss their current care and influence it celebrated the 100th anniversary of some women winning the right to vote, with Optalis campaigning with other UK organisations to ensure people with disabilities can exercise their right to an informed vote.

Councilor Richard Dolinksi, Wokingham Borough Council Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health & Wellbeing, said: “It was a privilege to have attended the Optalis Customer Conference, especially to have witnessed the energy and enthusiasm of all the participants.

“I was particularly impressed by the presentation on our democratic right to vote, something that I am very passionate about. I believe that everyone’s voice needs to be heard. Thank you Optalis for facilitating this.”

Optalis CEO Martin Farrow added: “Customers co-produced the Optalis business strategy and we continue to work closely with them to make sure that the organisation is run in the way people want. This event was created by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities with the focus on inclusivity where voices are heard and opinions count.”