Supporting people with learning disabilities

People with a learning disability have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else to live satisfying and valued lives, and to be treated with the same dignity and respect. 

They should have a home within their community, be able to develop and maintain relationships, and get the support they need to live a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.

Unfortunately, though, people with learning disabilities experience disproportionate levels of inequality, and their quality-of-life outcomes are lower than it is reasonable to expect in the 21st century. The pandemic has highlighted and deepened these inequalities.

Councils have a key role to play in helping people with learning disabilities to live a full life, and the LGA provides a range of support to help councils improve their services (see box below). 

It is also good practice for councils to involve people with a learning disability fully in the planning and delivery of services, as co-producers. Having learning disabled co-chairs of partnership boards and similar advisory groups is one of the really impactful ways councils can help this happen in practice.

In this issue:

LGA support 

The LGA provides a range of support to help councils improve their services for people with learning disabilities, including specific peer reviews (see bit.ly/31WdI0T).

The LGA’s Care and Health Improvement Programme team has written a briefing on ‘Changes to LeDer: the learning from life and death reviews of people with a learning disability and autistic people’ (see bit.ly/3oUVLbU), and has been highlighting how the health inequalities faced by people with a learning disability have been exacerbated by the pandemic (see bit.ly/3DTl7uM). 

Meanwhile, the LGA and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services have commissioned an ‘outcomes and improvement framework’ to help directors of adult social services and lead members identify how they can improve their support to adults with learning disabilities and autism. 

It will also look at how they can be assured that the care and support in their area is good value.

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