Employment

Employment

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Perhaps the most successful supported employment services in Scotland remains the North Lanarkshire team. Funded directly by the council, this is an example of something that councils’ can do well. Undoubtedly this team benefited by being led by a strong and charismatic champion of employment but it drew much of its strength from its links to other parts of the council workforce and the cooperation it could draw upon from other public, private and voluntary organisations. Having a large staff team, the service is able to both support existing employees and to find jobs for new people coming forward. Working with Project Search, it has worked to help young people to get the experience they need to help jobs. If there was an easier solution than investing in staff and…
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Independant Living

Independant Living

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There needs to be a clear statement in any new policy that people with learning disabilities have the right to live as independently as they wish. This should be a free choice based on real alternatives. Currently access to an independent living situation is mediated through the Eligibility Criteria of a local council by being at either “Critical” or “Substantial” risk in their current living arrangements and by the level of resources that a local authority has decided to make available. We live in a time of cuts and “austerity” without a rebalance of the rights of the citizen with that of the state then much of what people believe to be their support to live independently may vanish. For example, in some areas of the country over the last…
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Education

Education

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We think that even after ten years there is a real problem in getting education and social work policy to match up. For example, Further Education colleges keep detailed records on the nature of disabilities of students with up to 9 named categories of disabilities indicating the type of support needed from Dyslexia to wheelchair users. But no specific information is kept on people with learning disabilities and they are counted within a number of different disability categories. While colleges can provide special lifeskills courses for people with learning disabilities they don’t actually have accurate records of the number of people with learning disabilities registered at each college. As a result we are not suggesting that colleges are unaware of the needs of people with learning disabilities but that their…
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Health Care

Health Care

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The Health Care evaluation makes interesting reading. Our members were particularly concerned to note the question about the main cause of death being quite different for people with learning disabilities and from those who don’t. Even the type of cancers that lead to death were particularly different for people with learning disabilities from the rest of the population. This did raise a question how much this was due to the high mortality rate amongst those who have more complex disabilities. We think further research is needed on the health profile of people with learning disabilities but that also includes more information of the range of needs of people with learning disabilities. It wouldn’t be right to treat everyone with a learning disability the same when there actually is a wide…
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Good Practice

Good Practice

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LDAS is a campaigning voluntary organisation that works to increase the political voice of people with learning disabilities, their family carers and others who support them with national and local politicians. We work through helping people get together and share concerns, look at possible solutions and existing good practice and share this with politicians in local authorities and both Parliaments. We are a user led organisation with 7 out of our 8 Board members having a learning disability. Our aim is to help people with learning disabilities become active citizens, sharing in the running of society and be in control of their own lives. LDAS’s independence allows us to act as a principled voice that is able to identify good practice and challenge poor performance without fear or favour. Our…
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what Still needs to be Done

what Still needs to be Done

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What Still Needs To Be Done The recommendations noted in the Same As You are of their time. Many have been superseded by events or by new legislation that has limited what is meant by them. PIP agreements have been and gone. The FNA (Future Needs Assessment) was changed into a more complicated system of Individual Education Programmes and Coordinated Support Plans. But despite this there are still many areas that need to be addressed • Support for older carers – The Same As You planned that people living with parents should have a plan that looked to a future when they would live independently. Such plans only exist rarely and many people with learning disabilities are continuing to live with older parents and even growing older with siblings without…
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What Has Worked Well

What Has Worked Well

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The Same As You was a lengthy document which spelt out in great detail what type of change was important. Much emphasis has been placed on the 29 recommendations contained in the report but perhaps more importantly a set of 7 principles was stated at the beginning of the Same As You document. These all remain relevant today. 1. People with learning disabilities should be valued. They should be asked and encouraged to contribute to the community they live in. They should not be picked on or treated differently from others. 2. People with learning disabilities are individual people. 3. People with learning disabilities should be asked about the services they need and be involved in making choices about what they want. 4. People with learning disabilities should be helped…
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SNP Manifesto published

SNP Manifesto published

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The Scottish National Party published its manifesto today.  Here is our Easy Read version of the Scottish National Party manifesto.    We have highlighted 12 points that we think will matter to people with learning disabilities around Scotland.  Of course, many of the other issues in the manifesto will also be important but we have had to exclude some things to make it short and readable.  If there are particular issues you would like to know about or to be put into Easy Read, then please let us know and we will make the information available. The Scottish Labour Party Manifesto is to be published next week and we will circulate a similar version as this at the time. We have also tried to track down Easy Read versions of the full…
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What People said

What People said

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Asking what people thought As part of our preparation for the review of the Same As You we went out to speak to over 150 people with learning disabilities from all over Scotland. This was not a representative sample as we did not control for different aspects but it did give us a wide range of comments from people on what they thought about the changes in their lives and how they looked forward to the future. We have put some of the quotes that people gave us at in boxes at different points. Where people lived. Many people’s lives had changed over the last ten years. Many had moved on to supported accommodation. There were more people living on their own than had been and many had moved on…
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“Modernisation” Plan to hit Hundreds in Glasgow

“Modernisation” Plan to hit Hundreds in Glasgow

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"Now I take Megan to a church hall, where for £5 we can sit from 11 to 3. For lunch she gets a sliced ham and white bread sandwich and a chocolate biscuit but at least its warm and dry. There’s pens and colouring books to keep her occupied.” That’s the words of one Glasgow mother describing the support she had for her daughter after her day centre for people with learning disabilities was closed down. It’s the type of story that’s not often heard. Instead we hear how “modernisation” will close day centres but replace them with a better service. Over the next few months, Glasgow City Council is going to close three of its seven centres, Hinshaw Street, Berryknowes and Summerston, for people with learning disabilities with 320…
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