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Monday 20 January 2020
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Useful resources

Family Carers Network
National Family Carer Network launches new website 

The National Family Carer Network, a registered charity which links groups and families that support people with a learning disability together, has developed a new website. The new website aims to promote the voice and rights of family carers supporting a person with a learning disability. It contains useful resources and news on events and training, along with a 'voice of family carers' page.

Go to the website 

HFT Family Carer Support

HFT offer support to those who have friends or relatives with learning disabilities. They provide one-to-one support by phone, email and letter and run regular workshops for family carers. They have also developed a huge range of family carer focused resources available to download for free form their website.

Go to the website 


Karen's Page

Karen died of cancer in April 2013 when she was only 44. This was the tragic ending to three years of distress and worry after Karen, who had a learning disability  was moved from home following an assessment of capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Karen's former carer set up a website called 'Karen's Page' to inform families of people with learning difficulties what problems they may encounter and help to prevent a similar tragedy happening to them. 

Go to the website 

New guidance improves support for parents with learning disabilities

Updated advice on how to work with parents who have learning difficulties has been issued by the Working Together with Parents Network (WTPN), led by the University of Bristol.

Nadine Tilbury, Policy Officer for the WTPN based at the Norah Fry Centre for Disability Studies, said, “There was a clear need for an updated version of the Good Practice Guidance, and to press for compliance with its basic principles, so that the human rights of parents with learning disabilities and those of their children are respected. We hope the Department of Health will publish a fuller update in due course, but in the meantime, our interim version will prove helpful for professionals working in the field, and help to ensure parents with learning difficulties, and their children, can access the correct help and support they are entitled to.”

Download the updated guidance >

NHS launches National Framework for Continuing Healthcare and NHS funded nursing care 

NHS England, in conjunction with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, has developed a range of useful resources for family carers and those involved in assessment and decision making around NHS Continuing Healthcare.  

Click here for the National framework for Continuing Healthcare 

See the guide for family carers 

Go to the NHS Continuing Healthcare e-learning tool 

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The National Family Carer Network

The Network links groups and organisations that support families that include an adult with a learning disability. Their key objective is to work together to promote better life chances for families that include someone with a learning disability.

Find out more on their website.

New Keys to Life website

To explain ‘The keys to life’, Scotland’s learning disability strategy, the Scottish Government have a website which provides information on how the strategy is being implemented and the progress being made on achieving positive outcomes for people with learning disabilities and their families.   

Go to their website.

Hft Family Carer Support Service

Hft’s national Family Carer Support Service offers free information and support for family carers, including workshops, news and a range of improtant ressources for family carers.

Find out more.

One key resource is their guide to the Mental Capacity Act,  developed specifically for family and friends of people with learning disabilities, so they understand how the Act affects them and those they care about.

Find out more and download the MCA Guide.

The National Family Carer Network and Hft have three information leaflets available to download: The Equality Act 2010: Disabled people and carers; Equality Impact Assessments; and Personalisation - Changes in Social Care: Personalisation and Self Directed Support.

Involving families in best interest care decisions

A leaflet published in April 2012 will support parents who have concerns that they are being excluded from decisions that social care or health professionals are making about their adult son or daughter. These may be decisions about where the person lives, what care they are getting, how they spend their time or medical treatment.
Two letter templates help family members who have not been involved, or are concerned that they will not be involved in the best interest decision-making process in the future.
Download the leaflet.

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A Day in Our Life

This is a series of mini-films that reveal day to day life being the parent of a child with disabilities or additional needs. The films are designed to raise awareness of the challenges, routines, hopes and joys encountered by parents & carers and raise awareness and understanding amongst professionals and the wider public.

There is also a document to download about parent carer participation, produced by Newcastle City Council.

Find out more.

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Contact a Family

Contact a Family are a UK-wide charity providing advice, information and support to the parents of all disabled children. This includes benefits advice and a special educational needs 'one-stop' service.

Find out more on their website.

The charity’s report, 'Forgotten Families – The impact of isolation on families with disabled children across the UK', published in February 2012, shows that social, emotional and financial isolation is resulting in mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression or breakdown, for nearly three quarters of families with disabled children. 

Download the report.

Tips for dealing with drooling from parents and carers

Excessive drooling can have health and hygiene implications. The skin around the mouth, chin and neck can easily get red and sore, the loss of fluid can lead to dehydration, there may be problems with eating and infections may be more easily transmitted.

Netbuddy have compiled a collection of tips from parents and carers of people who have experienced problems with drooling.

Read the tips 

Mencap - Superhero recipes

This collection of recipes has been selected by Mencap to help you celebrate every day superheroes for Learning Disability Week 2013 - which take place from the 19th - 25th August.

These are highly accessible recipes from some of the finest chefs in the UK and will give you all you need to make a wonderful meal to say thanks to the people that make all the difference in your life.  Most importantly these recipes can be cooked and enjoyed by all the family.

View the recipes on the Mencap website

"This Is My Child", Mumsnet's myth-busting guide

This Is My Child is a myth-busting and awareness-raising campaign, launched in response to requests from our members and supported by input from some of the leading charities in the field.

Its aim is to support parents of children with additional needs, inform everyone else, and open up a conversation about how we can all act to make life easier for everyone caring for children with additional needs.

View the campaign on Mumsnet

The 2014 Holiday Information Guide

This year’s edition has 44 pages and includes sections: Useful advice, General Guides, Tour Operators, Places to stay – UK, Meeting specialist health needs, Places to stay – abroad etc.

The guide can be downloaded from this website

The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain

Available to view for free online, this gives you plenty of new ideas for accessible trips in 2013. Each review contains hints and tips from the Rough Guides team of disabled reviewers who visited each venue, looking for well thought out accessibility features and unique attractions, both of which contribute to making a great day out.

Download the Rough Guide to Accessible Britain

Personalisation for Parents and Carers 

KIDS a charity for children with disabilities, has launched an e-learning package about personalisation for parents and carers. The package, which is based on a handbook produced by the charity earlier this year, provides information about personal budgets and how they will be affected by recent changes to disability benefits. The package can be accessed and accounts created on the KIDS website.

Create an account and access the resource on the KIDS website

Challenging a Bedroom Tax decision

If you are affected you will by now have received a letter from your council telling you about the decision. You have one month from the date of the letter to challenge the decision and Carer's UK have put together a toolkit to help.

Find out more on the Carers UK website

From child to adult: a guide to disability, transition and family finance 

This free booklet has sections for parents and carers and disabled young people, a step-by-step guide to better-off calculations and a list of useful publications, organisations and websites. It answers questions such as: How are family finances affected when a disabled child becomes an adult? When is it most advantageous for a young person to start claiming their own benefits? Can parents change working hours to fit with a disabled young person's new regime?

Download the publication

Taking Risks and Making Mistakes

An article published in 'The Voice', the magazine of Down Syndrome New South Wales and Down Syndrome Victoria by Sharon Paley and Mark Wakefield. Sets out the case for parents allowing their children to take some risks.

The article was also used, with additional photographs and a video illustrating the benefits of taking a positive approach, in a blog posting by Hayley Goleniowska at the DownsSideUp blog.

See the blog posting.

The 2012 Holiday Information Guide

This year’s edition has 48 pages and includes sections: Useful advice, General Guides, Tour Operators, Places to stay – UK, Meeting specialist health needs, Places to stay – abroad etc.

The guide can be downloaded here

An Ordinary Life

As part of its project An Ordinary Life, the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities has launched a free interactive booklet and communication passport to help families transform the quality of life of their child with complex health needs.

Find out more on the FPLD website

 Netbuddy, the online support website

Netbuddy has been dubbed “the special needs mumsnet” and recognised with an award from the Media Trust. It offer a range of information, from health advice, such as hospital visits and links to easy-read resources, to tips on behavioural issues, advice on holidays and guidance on family issues. The site, which attracts around 6,000 new visitors a month, also includes downloadable information packs and an “ask-an-expert” forum, with advice from a speech and language therapist, a behavioural support practitioner and other professionals.

Find out more on the Netbuddy website

Just look and cook
Just Look and Cook

Just Look and Cook, a recipe book launched in 2013, is helping to encourage people with learning disabilities to cook and eat healthily. The text free cookbook contains simple, economical & nutritious recipes that are presented to the user through a series of photographs. Each recipe includes a detachable shopping list and uses everyday ingredients and basic kitchen equipment – allowing the user to recreate a great range of delicious dishes no matter how big or small their kitchen. Recipes within the book include firm favourites Spaghetti Bolognese, pizza and chicken curry. 

For more information 

Nhs Fife food

NHS Fife has recipe for success with cookbook for people with learning disabilities

NHS Fife have created a healthy cookbook for kids and adults with learning disabilities. The pictorial catalogue with 30 simple, cost effective and tasty meal ideas has proved such a hit that other health boards want to use it too.  

Find out more information

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Eating well: children and adults with learning disabilities

This is an evidence-based report which summarises available information on the nutritional needs of children, young people and adults with learning disabilities. It also looks at issues around food choice and eating well, and provides practical information to support these groups and those caring for or supporting them.

Download the report 

The Caroline Walker Trust also have a range of education materials, not specially design for use with people with a learning disability but that may be useful in working with people around food and health.

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Obesity, physical activity and food in the West Midlands 

The Department of Health West Midlands, public health and social care teams, West Midlands Public Health Observatory, NHS West Midlands and PAN-WM held a workshop in January 2010  that focused on how to work with people with learning difficulties to maintain a healthy weight, participate in physical activity and make healthy food choices. The event was attended by a range of specialists from the obesity, learning disabilities, physical activity, sport, transport, dance, healthy eating and health sectors. The feedback from the workshop has been used to develop a framework for action and an Obesity Charter launched in January 2012.

Download the Charter
Visit the website


Tastier than Porridge 

An initiative of the Swansea Community Chaplaincy Project, the cook book is aimed at individuals who may not be able to access comprehensive cooking facilities; it has been developed as a tool to encourage basic cookery skills and healthy eating.

Download the cookbook

Mencap - Easy read recipes

This collection of recipes has been selected by Mencap to celebrate Learning Disability Week 2013.

These are highly accessible, easy read recipes from some of the finest chefs in the UK and will give you all you need to make a wonderful meal to say thanks to the people that make all the difference in your life.  Most importantly these recipes can be cooked and enjoyed by all the family.

Download the recipes from the Great British Chefs website

Guidance to raise awareness of the importance of good nutritional care

NHS England has published new guidance to help ensure patients receive excellent nutrition and hydration care. 

The guidance has been produced to address the issues raised within ‘Hard Truths’ and the Francis Report; and to the concerns of patient, carers and the public with regard to malnutrition and dehydration.

Malnutrition is still a concern for the health service, affecting more than three million people in the UK at any one time. 

Download the Guidance - Commissioning Excellent Nutrition and Hydration 2015 - 2018  

Cook and Eat easy read recipe books available

Cook and Eat easy read cook books are a range of specially adapted cookery books produced by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

People with learning disabilities helped to make the books and have been written so that people with learning disabilities can make more meals with less help. 

The recipes follow a simple structure which includes photographs, easy words, no time limits and an easy method.

Visit the website for more information 

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Good Support

The Social Care Councils (responsible for the regulation and registration of Social Workers and other Social Care Workers) are:


7 of the Best Apps for People with Disabilities

A collection of ground-breaking apps that use modern technology to help people with disabilities around the world. These seven apps use modern technology to enrich the lives of people with disabilities - from creative aids for the blind and deaf to new ways to make life more manageable for people with autism and speech disabilities. 

Apps include Talkit: The app that gives a voice to people with speech disorder, Look at me: The app that improves eye contact and communication and Hear you now: The app that amplifies sounds.

Find out more information.  

How can airports help people with hidden disabilities?

Getting through an airport can be stressful enough at the best of times but for people with 'hidden disabilities' like dementia, autism and hearing loss, it can bring extra challenges. Ryan has autism, his Mum spoke to 'Autism Friendly' about the challenges faced.  

Watch the video >

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation launches resources about children’s experience of restraint

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has launched a number of resources on the Paving the Way website around the issue of children with learning disabilities being restrained.

A powerful video, ‘Why do they hurt?’ – a 5 minute film about a young boy, Calum, who experienced prone (face-down) restraint at school. Accompanying the video is a family story by Calum’s mother, Beth. which also describes the campaigning work Beth was inspired to undertake in Scotland as a result.

There is also blog post from a family carer, Kate, describing the experiences of her daughter, Laura, and arguing for the importance of effective guidelines and training for those supporting children with learning disabilities. 

Find out more information. 

Going into hospital with a learning disability

Going into hospital is a worrying time for any of us. It can be even harder for someone who has a learning disability. If you're looking after an adult or child with a learning disability, follow these tips to make a hospital stay go smoothly. This includes health communication passports, to help hospital staff know about a person's individual needs.

Find out more information. 

Nothing Down About It: A mother's blog on her child with Down's Syndrome

When Oakley found out her newborn son, Welles, had Down syndrome, she was overwhelmed by the news. She struggled for the first month, unsure how to raise a child with Down syndrome. But as her son grew, Oakley's strength, positivity, and pure love for her son compelled her to become an advocate for him through her blog "Nothing Down About It.

Read her blog >

A special child in the family: Living with your sick or disabled child

This free online book is for anyone whose child is sick or disabled or has other special needs. Written by a parent for parents, it talks about feelings and how to cope with them. It looks at ways to balance the needs of your family, your special child and yourself, and it gives you parent-sized solutions you can use yourself to make life better. In addition to showing you how to find and use the help that's available, it provides tips on making a fuss when that help isn't as good as it should be. And it tackles the big taboos that no one usually talks about, like death and failing to cope.  

Find out more information. 

How charities can improve by adopting co-op principles

There has always been a gulf between the co-operative movement and charitable work – but now a care sector charity has drawn on mutual ideas to pioneer a governance model giving greater control to people using its services.

The new model, created by Learning Disability England, could revolutionise the way charities are run and bring them closer to co-operativism, by incorporating the voices of its service users, their family and friends and other interested groups, says this article in Co-Operative News. Some of the co-op principles include education, training and information, concern for community and autonomy and independence. 

Find out more information. 

People with Down's syndrome answer uncomfortable questions

  • Can adults with Down's syndrome live on their own?
  • Can they have a job?
  • Can they drive?
  • Can children with Down's syndrome learn to read or ride a bike?

These are some of the difficult questions on the minds of prospective parents who have just been told their unborn child will likely have Down's syndrome. The Canadian Down's Syndrome Society searched the most asked questions online about Down's syndrome and launched a new campaign to answer them. The questions are answered in 40 unscripted YouTube videos featuring adults and children with Down's syndrome. 

Find out more information > 

Introduction of Travel Support Card

London Midland has introduced a travel support card to make it easier for some passengers to get assistance from their staff. Anyone who finds travelling difficult can carry a Travel Support Card, which was bought into being after requests from self advocacy groups Speakers Corner and Speak Easy. 

Find out more information.

Virtu Assist

VirtuAssist: The virtual assistant for learning and working

VirtuAssist guides users with learning disabilities on how to operate complex equipment and conduct tasks efficiently in learning and working environments while keeping their hands free.

VirtuAssist's services are provided through two tools: a website for supervisors/trainers/family and a smart glass application to present the step-by-step guides in a fun, hand-free and adapted way to the users.  

Find out more information.

NHS England Board Meeting, update paper on Transforming Care

The purpose of this paper is to inform the Board on 28 July of the progress made to transform care for people with a learning disability and/or autism.

Download the paper >  

View the agenda and board papers >

Transforming Care Partnerships tasked with designing new high quality services

Local plans to transform care for people with a learning disability and/or autism have been published, backed by millions of pounds of dedicated funding announced by health and care leaders.  

Download the funding and summary TCP plans >

NHS Standard affirms accessible information for patients with disabilities

People with disabilities will benefit from improved health and care after new requirements, ensuring they receive easily accessible information and support.

The Accessible Information Standard aims to ensure that people who have a disability, impairment or sensory loss are provided with information that they can easily read or understand with support so they can communicate effectively with services. Examples of the types of support that might be required include large print, braille or using a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out more information. 

Beyond Words picture story App launched 

Beyond Words has gone mobile and created a new app to enrich the lives of people with learning disabilities. The BW Story App holds over 400 short picture stories and 1800+ pictures from across an entire back catalogue. The app is designed to help people access better care and support, empower and inform, help people communicate, increase confidence and share stories.

Find out more information. 

ARC England - FREE Helping Each Other Training Materials

Helping Each Other was a three year project, funded by Comic Relief. The innovative project trained 12 young people with learning disabilities who have experienced sexual exploitation, to become peer trainers, and supported them to deliver awareness sessions to 200 other young people with learning disabilities.

They were also supported to make presentations at conferences and workshops, and to groups of professionals. As part of the project, materials were developed that can be used independently to raise awareness about sexual exploitation with more young people with learning disabilities.

These can be downloaded here > 

Guidance launched to prevent deaths in healthcare settings

Nurses and healthcare workers have been issued with new guidance on caring for people with learning disabilities. The toolkit provides advice on health issues ranging from how to take someone's temperature to how to resuscitate them.

It has been drawn up by Turning Point with the aim of helping services improve the physical health of people with learning disabilities and their quality of life.

The guidance highlights early warning signs to enable workers to support people to access their GP earlier. This will help to avoid hospital admissions, escalation of health issues and support individuals to be as healthy as possible. 

Find out more information. 

Calling all makers, hackers and users: help create the world’s first open source wheelchair

Across the globe, millions of people who need wheelchairs don’t have one or don’t have one that’s suitable for their needs. Hack On Wheels is building an online community to fix this problem by creating open source designs focused on the needs of users. They believe that anyone who needs a wheelchair should be able to access one that is fully customized to their individual needs. They believe that digital fabrication, open hardware and the maker movement can change this.  

Find out more information. 

Leka: Special smart robot for special needs children

Leka is an educational robot that helps children with special needs to develop social, motor and cognitive skills through games and interaction.

Leka is designed to do the same thing every single time to give the user a sense of safety and stability, but still manages to keep the child's attention and provide entertainment with its fun and educational activities. Games include hide and seek, picture bingo and memory games.  

Find out more >  

Watch the video >

Sense launches new service to help with benefit application forms

Sense has launched a new service to assist deafblind individuals and their families and carers, with queries that they have in relation to the completion of benefit claim forms.

The service, which has been developed specifically for individuals with multi-sensory impairments and complex needs, will offer tailored support and assistance in relation to queries that arise whilst individuals and their supporters are completing applications for benefits such as Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance.  

Find out more information. 

Supporting adults to have a hearing test – tips for carers

Dr Lynzee McShea, Senior Clinical Scientist Audiology, finds it very helpful when a carer supports a person to attend an appointment and brings information that can help complete the assessment.

She writes, "It helps if the carer can think about their own conversations with the person attending the appointment. Do you use gestures to communicate with that person? Do they respond better if they can see your face? Hearing is more complex than it first appears, and can sometimes be difficult to spot without these observations."

More tips for carers >

How to write a model letter

The Independent Parental Special Education Advice have devised model letters for 7 situations where you may need to write to your local authority.

They are: To request an Education, Health and Care needs assessment; To request a re-assessment; To respond to the draft EHC plan sent by the LA; Objecting to the amendments the LA is proposing to an existing EHC plan; Asking for an early review of an EHC plan; Complaining when the special educational provision on the EHC plan is not being made; Complaining when an EHC needs assessment is not being carried out properly and Complaining when the LA has not completed the annual review of an Education and Health Plan. 

Find out more information  

Nearly two million patients to receive person-centred support to manage their own care

NHS England has agreed a deal which will grant nearly two million people access to more person-centred care as part of its developing Self Care programme. Local NHS organisations and their partners are being invited to apply for free access to patient activation licences, which will help them assess and build their patients’ knowledge, skills and confidence, empowering people to make decisions about their own health and care.

The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) is a validated tool which captures the extent to which people feel engaged and confident in taking care of their health and wellbeing. By measuring people’s activation levels through PAM, organisations can ‘meet people where they are’ and tailor support and services to the individual’s needs. 

Find out more information 

Expert tips on how to improve your best interests assessor reports

For best interests assessors (BIAs), being able to thoroughly explain and evidence their conclusions about whether someone is being deprived of their liberty in their best interests is vital because their report might be used in court. Community Care Inform Adult’s new guide to report writing for best interests assessors is full of advice. 'Be aware of your audience' and 'record everything' are a few of the guide’s tips to help BIAs polish their reports.

More in Community Care >

'Deciding right app' for professionals to aid in making care decisions in advance

The NHS Deciding right app which is part of the Deciding right programme in the north east, Cumbria and London. The app is a guide to support any health or social care professional through the process of making care decisions in advance for people who will or may lose capacity in the future, who have already lost capacity for those decisions or never had capacity.

The app has now been extensively revised and updated throughout and includes new sections on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and withdrawing life sustaining devices.

Find out more information 

Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook 2nd edition

Disabled children: a legal handbook is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do. 

Each chapter has been adapted into a PDF for you to download for free here >

The fight for respite

“It's hard to quantify just how important short breaks are to us. They are a lifeline. Our son is entirely dependent upon us for all his needs and it is relentless. We had respite provision up until October last year and when I heard we had lost it – due to the changing needs of our son – I cried.

Respite is our safety valve. Without it my nerves shred. It allows us to breathe out and gives us time to relax, away from the constant worry of ‘Is he OK?’ and ‘Will he not be OK in a minute?’

Article in SEN Magazine >

Launch of IAPT Positive Practice Guide 

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD), in partnership with National IAPT- NHS England, is launching the 'Positive Practice Guide for Learning Disability'.

It provides useful information regarding how best to support people with learning disabilities to access their local IAPT service, including numerous practical examples of how to make reasonable adjustments to achieve this.

Download the Practice Guide. 

Guide to help schools promote equality

Equality: Making It Happen can help schools address prejudice, reduce bullying and promote equality holistically. Succinct reference cards, covering all equality strands and aspects of school life, offer key information, practical advice and suggested activities, examples of good practice, equality monitoring tools and sources of further information and support.  More >

'All parts of the system should work together to improve commissioning', says Voluntary Organisations Disability Group

Speaking on the launch of a new report, 'Together we can deliver more effective commissioning and de-commissioning for people with learning disabilities and autism', VODG chief executive, Dr Rhidian

Hughes, said, "For too long the barriers preventing de-commissioning of inappropriate learning disability and autism services have been left unchanged and unchallenged. 

Download the report.

CQC to inspect services less often due to cuts in funding over next few years 

The Care Quality Commission plans to inspect adult social care services less often and concentrate on providers of greatest risk ahead of an anticipated cut in its budget.

In a draft strategy for 2016-21 released this week for consultation, the CQC proposed a “risk-based” approach where it would focus on inspecting services deemed to be more of a risk to the public, based on better intelligence gathering about service quality.

More information.

Download the CQC’s draft strategy 2016 to 2021 - Shaping the future: consultation document.

Celebrating independence

Jenny Bennett has released her own book, “From long stay hospital to nightclub”, published by Changing Our Lives. 

The book charts Jenny’s life, which began with 19 years living in institutions ranging from a children’s home, a long stay hospital and a short stay in an assessment and treatment unit, to her life now, night clubbing, living in her own home, choosing her own staff, taking risks and loving her independence.  
Read Jenny's book >

New movement puts respect at the heart of accessible tourism

Tourism is for Everybody encourages individuals, businesses & policy makers to pull together to deliver a warmer welcome for ALL visitors, including those with some form of impairment.

Chairman Tim Gardiner explains “It’s not just about legislation and infrastructure, it’s about awareness and respect. A little effort from tourism professionals can make a massive difference.” Free Tourism is for Everybody toolkits are available for businesses and the website includes a helpful section for people looking for advice on stress free travelling.  

Find out more information

How women with learning difficulties cope with their periods

In UK primary schools, teachers give period lessons where students are given tampons, sanitary towels and a small lecture about why and when girls bleed, and what to do about it. The lesson is a bit different for girls with learning difficulties.

For example, it's not just a one-off lesson but often a big part of the girls' education. Carers and teachers often write stories or draw pictures to describe the process. This example, posted on The Women’s International Perspective, outlines the way one girl, Katie, with autism started to learn about periods – through a story written by her teacher.  

Find out more

Safe and Secure

Ensure your loved one has a safe and secure future

‘Safe and Secure', a book produced by Thera Trust, gives step-by-step advice to ensure people have a safe and secure future surrounded by people who care about them when family, friends and carers are not around. The book intends to allay fears and address various hoops people with special needs may encounter in their lifetime.  

Find out more information on the website. 

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Care Quality Commission

The job of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to check whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting government standards. You can see reports on inspections of care homes and hospitals on their website. They also protect the interests of vulnerable people, including those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

Find out more on the CQC website.

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Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE)

The SCIE website has lots of information and reports of use to people providing support to people with learning disabilities.

Find out more on the SCIE website.

Social Care TV

Social Care TV is an online service commissioned and produced by SCIE for everyone involved in social care and social work.

You can watch the videos online or download them for use in presentations or training events. All videos include supporting material and related information to help you put what you see into practice.

Find out more and watch some videos on the Social Care TV website.

Find Me Good Care

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is developing a website that will help people to make choices about care. FindMeGoodCare.co.uk will cover all types of care and support for adults including regulated and unregulated services in England. It will provide links to specialist websites (including local services, specialist and independent financial advisers). The site will go live summer 2012 and will provide information about services for all adults.

You can register your interest on the Find Me Good Care website prior to launch.

Personal assistant help

Reducing the confusion around employing a personal assistant

The tax implications of employing a PA are significant. A new guide seeks to help direct payment users to manage them, says Colin Bruce. The article covers uncertainty on areas including type of employment, real time information, workplace pensions and national minimum wage.  

Find out more on the Community Care website.

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Involving families in workforce development

‘Good practice in involving families in your workforce development' was a project to identify good practice of involving family carers of people with a learning disability in workforce development.

A report collating seven examples from local authorities, health, training and support providers and identifying common principles of good practice is now available to download.

It details how involving families in workforce development can support organisations achieve CQC outcomes, and can help organisations have a healthier, more committed and involved workforce, save money and develop supportive relationships with families built on trust.

Download a copy of the report.


Organisations that can help if you have to make a complaint:

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) provides independent support to people wishing to complain about treatment in the NHS. Three providers deliver ICAS in different parts of the country:

The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman carries out independent investigations into complaints about UK government departments and the NHS in England in order to help improve public services:  www.ombudsman.org.uk

For more information on making a complaint to the regulators in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland go to:

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Raising a concern with CQC

A Care Quality Commission leaflet about what to do if you have concerns about what is happening where you work. When the concern feels serious because it might affect patients or people receiving care, colleagues or your whole organisation, it can be difficult to know what to do. This leafet sets out the steps you should take.

Find out more on the CQC website.

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The Whistleblowing Helpline

The whistle-blowing helpline for NHS staff and staff and employers in the social care sector.  The helpline service is free, independent and confidential.

The helpline number is 08000 724 725 and operates on weekdays between 08.00 and 18.00 with an out-of-hours answering service available at weekends and on public holidays. A web-based service is also being developed.

You can contact the helpline if you have concerns but are unsure how to raise them or simply want advice on best practice.

Find out more on the Whisleblowing Helpline website

The core principles: Ensuring quality services

As part of their new strategy the Winterbourne View Joint Improvement Programme has published a new document: "Ensuring quality services: core principles for the commissioning of services for children, young people, adults and older people with learning disabilities and/or autism who display or are at risk of displaying behaviour that challenges."

Download the full document

Download the Easy Read version of the document

 PCPLD Network 

The Palliative Care for People with Learning Disabilities Network website is a reciprocal way of sharing information. The aim is to  promote excellence and networking in end of life care for people with learning disabilities.

The website is for anyone who is interested in promoting excellent palliative and end of life care for people with learning disabilities. Members are mostly professionals, but also include some (family) carers, and some people with learning disabilities.

Visit the PCPLD Network website

New guide to help people exercise their freedom

Written by Dr Simon Duffy, Freedom, published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, offers practical advice on how to offer support while enabling people with learning disabilities to exercise freedom of choice as much as possible.

View the guide online 

Management Induction Standards

The Skills for Care adult social care Manager Induction Standards (MIS) set out clearly what a new manager needs to know and understand.

They are aimed at those new to management as well as those new in post who have previously managed other care services. They are also intended for aspiring or potential managers to help support their development, although evidence of having met some of the standards will require actual management experience.

The standards can to be used in a wide range of settings, including people who manage their own services and micro-employers, as well as small, medium and large organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Download the new standards from the Skills for Care website

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All UK legislation can be downloaded from

You can find policies and reports for the nations of the UK at:

There is a full listing of all Government departments on the DirectGov website. 

The Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people

The House of Lords Select Committee Report on the 'Equality Act 2010: the impact on disabled people' has been published. The Select Committee took evidence in 2015 from over 140 people with disabilities, family members, politicians and a wide range of organisations. The committee's report has resulted in five critical conclusions.

Download the report >

Download the Easy Read version of the report >

The Equality Act, making equality real

Download the Easy Read guide to the Equality Act.

Voting in the EU referendum 

The Brandon Trust has produced a video guide to the EU referendum to encourage everybody to take the opportunity to vote. People who receive support from Brandon asked for more information about the debate and voting, so our Involvement team set to work on making an accessible film, aiming to outline the key arguments and the process from joining the voting register, to putting a cross in the box.

The language used when discussing referendums is rarely accessible so in the video, Beth Richards, Brandon’s Involvement Assistant, explains the important terms.  

Watch the video here >

Voting in the EU Referendum: Easy Read

An easy read version of voting in the EU referendum is now available. "A referendum is a single vote on a special issue. A referendum is held sometimes to help the government make a very important decision. They ask a question and you vote for the answer you agree with. The question is: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”  

Find out more information. 

Brexit report highlights ‘concerns and opportunities’ for people with disabilities

A report setting out both the 'concerns and opportunities' for people with disabilities in the aftermath of Brexit has been released by leading disability charity Papworth Trust.

The 64-page document, entitled ‘Brexit – What next for disabled people?’, aims to raise awareness of the various issues coming out of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in June. Social care, accessible housing, welfare and education are all debated with the charity calling on the Department for Exiting the European Union to work closely with voluntary sector representatives to consider the wider implications for disabled people.  

Download the report >

Ours to own: Your human rights

A booklet about human rights and what they mean for you.

Download the Easy Read Guide to the Human Right Act.

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI)

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) leads the government’s vision of achieving equality for disabled people. They are a cross-government organisation that works with government departments, disabled people and a wide range of external groups.

Find out more about their work, and a wide range of information and resources, on their website.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Factsheet

Age UK has produced a factsheet that looks at the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), which relates to people who are placed in care homes or hospitals for their care or treatment. This factsheet covers: what deprivation of liberty means; the required procedure for authorising a potential deprivation of liberty; what you can do if you are concerned that someone is being unlawfully deprived of their liberty; and the required procedures and protections available once someone has been deprived of their liberty. 

Download the factsheet 

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NHS develops an Information Standard for accessible information 

The NHS have developed an Information Standard for accessible information. This guidance will tell organisations how they should ensure that patients with disabilities and carers receive information in formats that they can understand.

Go to their website 

Guidance to protect people with learning disabilities from forced marriage

This guidance, from the Government's Forced Marriage Unit, was developed in conjunction with learning disability charities the Ann Craft Trust and the Judith Trust. Research carried out by the charities suggests that people with learning disabilities are at risk of being forced into marriage, and are less likely to report the abuse.

Each year, the Forced Marriage Unit deals with over 1600 reports of forced marriage. Since August 2009, at least 58 cases have involved people with learning disabilities.

For more details about the Forced Marriage Unit and to download a copy of the Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines go to their website.

This guidance builds on the easy-read booklet aimed at people with learning disabilities ‘Am I being forced to marry?’ available at www.forcedtomarry.com published by the charity Respond and the Forced Marriage Unit.

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The Equality Act 2010 - What do I need to know?


This Disability Quick Start Guide - produced by the Government Equalities Office - tells you how the Equality Act 2010 changes how you have to act in order to prevent and address disability discrimination and disability-related harassment when you provide goods, facilities and services to the public, for example as a residential care home, community shop or after-school club.

Download the guide.

SEN: Preparing for the Future

Fair treatment for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) is being called for by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) in a new report. The report, SEN: Preparing for the Future, urges that children with SEN, and their families, must be treated fairly and receive the support to which they are entitled. It highlights a number of stories where pupils are being unlawfully excluded from school and being denied specialist support. 

Download a full copy of the report 

What councils need to know about people with learning disabilities

‘What Councils Need to Know about People with Learning Disabilities', the first Local Government Knowledge Navigator Evidence Review, is available to download now.
The new ‘Need to Know' review series will provide local government with accessible, relevant and reliable knowledge, coupled with the necessary ‘navigation' aids to route people to what is available to meet these requirements.

Download the "Need to Know" review 

Strategic role for the CDC

The Council for Disabled Children have been appointed as SEN and disability Strategic Reform Partner to the Department for Education. They will be developing information highlighting key aspects of the reform process in order to support the engagement of a broad range of stakeholders.

Read more in the CDC's newsletter

The impact of cuts to the DLA

A graphic illustration produced by United Response, showing very clearly how cuts will affect people with disabilities and their families.

View the graphic illustration on the United Response website

How Parliament Works

Three easy-read guides provide short introductions to what parliament does:

“How Laws are Made” explains how the Houses of Parliament make laws, including the readings, committee and report stages in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

“You and Your MP” explains what MPs can and can’t do for their constituents and how MSPs, Assembly Members and MLAs can help in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Finally, “About Select Committees” explains the role of these small groups of MPs or Peers in looking closely at the government’s work and anything else that parliament decides needs addressing.

Download the easy-read guides


Smile! Stop Hate Crime

Smile! Stop Hate Crime, a project run by Nottingham Mencap, has created an interactive and fun learning pack to help people with learning disabilities to keep safe in the community. The pack contains a DVD with resources, clips and a printed guide designed  to help support the running of sessions on disability hate crime and keeping safe: at home, on the street, when using transport and most importantly of all with other people.

For a copy of the DVD go to their website.

'Government Hate Crime Action Plan does not go far enough to protect people'

The government hate crime action plan represents a positive step forward but does not go far enough to tackle hate crime perpetrated against those with a learning disability, the chief executive of a service provider has said.

The Action Plan, will commit the government to work to give young people and teachers the tools they need to tackle hatred and prejudice, including through a new programme to equip teachers to facilitate conversations around international events and the impact they have on communities here in the UK.

Download the action plan >

Find out more information. 

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Disability Hate Crime Reporting Book

Home office easy read booklet about reporting disability hate crime.

Open it or download it.

There is also a reporting form to use of you are the victim of disability hate crime.

Open it or download it.

Challenging the media and staying safe online

The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities are calling for a change to the language used about people with learning disabilities and the way they are represented in the media, in order to tackle the increase in bullying, harassment and hate crime. They have produced two guides to provide tips and advice to help people with learning disabilities stay safe, Staying Safe on Social Media and Staying Safe Out and About. The Foundation has also developed a guide for broadcasters to help them improve how they represent people with learning disabilities in the media. 

Find out more

Guides to help stop disability hate crime

Disability hate crime guidance documents launched in February 2012 to raise awareness of disability-related harassment and hate crime and how to report it.

The guides are part of a joint project between the Office for Disability Issues and Disability Rights UK.

The guidance documents are available here

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Hidden in Plain Sight

Equality and Human Rights Commission report published in September 2011, of a formal Inquiry into the actions of public authorities to eliminate disability-related harassment and its causes.

Read about the Inquiry and the report on their website.



Crown Prosecution Service guidance on Hate Crime

The Crown Prosecution have produced a leaflet introducing the CPS policy for prosecuting cases of disability hate crime, there is an easy read version. They also have a policy statement explaining the way that the Crown Prosecution Service deals with cases of disability hate crime and guidance for prosecutors when dealing with such cases.

These documents are all available on their website.


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Mencap's 'Stand by Me' campaign 

14 police services across England took part in research into how police respond to disability hate crime. This was carried out by The Office for Public Management (OPM).  We found that although some police forces had good policies for tackling hate crime against a person with a learning disability, others needed to improve.

View the Mencap web page where you can download the report and an easy read version.


May 2013: Disability Hate Crime Guide

Until, the majority of these crimes are reported there will never be a true picture of the prevalence of disability hate crime in this country and nothing will change says Disability Rights UK, who have published Let’s Stop Disability Hate Crime A guide for disabled people.

Download the guide from the Disability Rights UK website 


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Me at Mealtimes

Me at Mealtimes, an easy read booklet written by specialist speech and language therapist Susan Guthrie, has been designed to help make eating more enjoyable and fun for those who find mealtimes difficult. The book encourages people to score their mealtimes using the Me at Mealtimes scorecard and provides advice on who to contact for help with eating, drinking or swallowing problems.

Download Me at Mealtimes

Cervical screening (smear tests) save lives – let’s talk about it!

Women with a learning disability are far less likely to take the test than most women. This might be because some carers, parents or health professionals do not think women with a learning disability need one or because they do not know that they are sexually active. They may also be too embarrassed to talk about it and not know enough about the test.

Women 25 and over are invited to cervical screening. All women, whether they are in a relationship and having sex or not, should attend.

Attending a smear test when invited can save people's lives. Women with learning disabilities should be supported to make this happen.

Find out more information: http://bit.ly/2jsgDCZ

Having a smear test - What is it about? Download the easy read version: http://bit.ly/2jU2bXJ

NHS easy guide to cervical screening. Download: http://bit.ly/2jsmzMr

The Smear Test Film. Watch the video: http://bit.ly/2j9aGtT

The flu jab for people with learning disabilities

NHS England are offering free flu jabs for individuals with a learning disability.  Watch Camilla, who has a learning disability, get her flu jab, here >

Flu resources

Here are materials, specifically learning disabilities focussed:

Easy Read flu leaflet: ‘All about flu and how to stop getting it’

Easy Read childhood nasal flu leaflet

Audio version of the campaign leaflet

ER version of the campaign leaflet (professional print ready and web accessible)

British sign language leaflet  

A short video has been produced to play in waiting rooms. Watch the video >

Easy read resources on cancer available 

Macmillan Cancer Support have a range of easy read resources about cancer for people with learning disabilities on their website. The resources, produced by CHANGE, include information on 'what is cancer', 'signs of cancer', 'screening for cancer', 'cancer types' and 'tests for cancer'.  

Find out more information.

Learning disabilities: identifying and managing mental health problems quality standard by NICE

This quality standard, by NICE, covers the prevention, assessment and management of mental health problems in people with learning disabilities in all settings. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement

Download >

Good clinical practices important to treat Alzheimer’s in people with Down's syndrome

More research is essential to improve protocols for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease in people with Down's syndrome, but the ability to identify and care for those patients is enhanced significantly if clinicians are aware of specific circumstances and use a multi-disciplinary treatment strategy. Those findings are included in a study titled 'Challenges faced in managing dementia in Alzheimer’s disease in patients with Down syndrome'. The study highlights the need for more research on managing Alzheimer’s disease in this group of patients, as very few robust clinical studies are available. However, it emphasizes that quality care for people with both Down's syndrome and Alzheimer’s is possible if good clinical practice guidelines are followed. In this study, scientists from the Birmingham Learning Disability Service at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in the U.K. placed the spotlight on the particular issues that physicians and caretakers should taken into account when managing Alzheimer’s dementia in people with Down.  

Find out more information.

In partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, BILD have two Easy Read factsheets on dementia for people with learning disabilities.

My Future and End of Life Care Plan

This is a plan put together by St Luke's Hospice with Plymouth People First Self Advocacy group to help people to talk about their future and end of life care choices and includes sensitive issues such as funeral planning and organ donation. 

Download the plan. 

Download guidance for support staff. 

Download feedback form. 

An Easy Read Guide: 'I Have Fragile X Syndrome'

The Fragile X Society have produced a new easy-read publication, 'I Have Fragile X Syndrome, produced for individuals with fragile X. The publication looks at various aspects of fragile X, giving and overview of its characteristics. It also includes some practical strategies for managing anxiety, making friends, meeting people, and learning.

Their family support workers worked to ensure that this booklet is accessible to everyone. They partnered with Change People (an inclusive organisation creating opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities) to produce bespoke pictures and symbols.  

Find out more information. 

Humber NHS Foundation Trust trials 'My Health Guide' app

Two hundred people with learning disabilities have become the first in the UK to trial a new app aimed at improving their quality of life. 'My Health Guide' allows people to capture video, record voice messages and show photographs of their lives and the people important to them alongside vital information about their healthcare. Humber NHS Foundation Trust has become the first in the country to introduce the app so people with mild to moderate learning disabilities communicate more effectively with care teams.

Find out more information. 

Health and Care of People with Learning Disabilities: Experimental Statistics: 2014 to 2015

People with learning disabilities have poorer health and shorter life expectancy than those without shows the largest dataset of its kind, published by NHS Digital. And the proportion given an annual health check varies considerably, depending on age and GP practice location. The preliminary report, which includes data from almost half of all GP practices in England in 2014-15, represents 51% of all patients registered, including 127,351 people with a learning disability and 28,832,342 people without. This makes it the largest study ever conducted into the health of people with learning disabilities in England.  

Download the report >

Health needs of people with learning disabilities: issues and solutions

Many people with learning disabilities are not getting their annual health check, facing increased risk factors to a number of diseases as a result. This article, written by Consultant Nurse Learning (Intellectual) Disabilities Jim Blair and published in in The British Journal of Family Medicine, considers what more can be done to help those most at risk.

Find out more information

Practice guidelines for psychotropic drug prescribing 

The Faculty of Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability, part of The Royal College of Psychiatrists, has published practice guidelines for psychotropic drug prescribing for people with intellectual disability, mental health problems and/or behaviours that challenge. 'Consent-to-treatment procedures (or best-interests decision-making processes) should be followed and documented', was listed as one of the standards for the prescription of a psychotropic drug.

Find out more information

NICE guideline on the transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs

This guideline covers the transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care homes for adults with social care needs. It aims to improve people's experience of admission to, and discharge from, hospital by better coordination of health and social care services.

Download the NICE guideline   

Easy read leaflet on pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that makes the tiny air sacs in your lungs inflamed (swollen and sore). They then fill with liquid. The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities have funded the production of an easy read leaflet on pneumonia. The guide includes the definition, the symptoms, the diagnosis, the treatment, complications and prevention of pneumonia. 

Download the Learning Disabilities guide on Pneumonia 

Healthier Scotland Conversation

A report has been published about the findings of SCLD’s consultation with people with learning disabilities at four recent events around the Scottish Government's 'Healthier Scotland Conversation'.  

Read the report.

NICE guidelines to prevent overmedication

NICE is recommending that people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges only receive antipsychotic medication as part of treatment that includes psychosocial interventions.

In its new Quality Standards, QS101 ‘Learning disabilities: challenging behaviour’, NICE warns of the risk of overmedication for people with learning disabilities due to carers having a lack of support from professionals.  

Read the NICE Guidelines in full 

To know or not to know: Being alert – Why it helps to know in advance if your next patient has a learning disability.

Identifying people with learning disabilities, or intellectual disabilities, can be problematic and lead to misinterpretations or varying expectations of a person’s ability, as well as enhancing the possibility of clinical risks.

Setting up a system including alerts, annual health checks and a hospital/health passport (card, video, photographic) will enable professionals to adapt their service in such a way that makes the outcome of the appointment, clinic, procedure etc. likely to enhance the quality of health interactions, diagnosis and outcomes.  

More information is available here 

Personal health budgets have a positive impact on peoples quality of life

The findings of the third personal outcomes evaluation tool of over 500 personal health budget holders and carers have been published by In Control, Lancaster University and Think Local Act Personal. 

Over three quarters of carers said that having a personal health budget had improved day to day stress, the quality of life of the carer, the quality of life of the person, and degree of choice and control the carer has in life.

The findings are available to download here 

Readmission to hospital for people with learning disabilities
A study by the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, found that complex discharge planning for people with learning disabilities may be lacking, resulting in them being readmitted to hospital for the same issue when this could potentially have been avoided.  

The key findings of the report are available here 


Improving support for people with learning disabilities in hospital

Working together 2 is an update of the Working together guide published in 2008 to help hospital staff, family members and paid support staff work jointly towards the end of any hospital admission. The guide highlights how to improve support for people with learning disabilities in hospital and includes practical suggestions along with links to further resources.

The guide is free and available to download here 

Royal College of Nursing easy read leaflets 

The Royal College of Nursing Pain and Palliative Care Forum have created three easy read patient information leaflets which cover Epidurals, Patient Controlled Analgesia and pain after surgery. 


Special Inquiry into poor discharge from health services by Healthwatch England

Healthwatch England has launched a report on the special inquiry on poor and unsafe discharge, "Safely home: What happens when people leave hospital and care settings?" The report highlights some of the key areas where patients and care users feel like they have been let down. Healthwatch England found that "when discharge goes wrong, it comes at significant cost, both to individuals and to the health and social care system." 

The report can be downloaded here 

Having a smear test - what is it about?

'Having a smear test - what is it about' is a new resource from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust about the importance of smear tests. The easy read booklet details who should go to a smear test, what to expect when being examined and how the test protects against certain cancers. The guide was designed to help break down the barriers that prevent women with learning disabilities attending their screening

The guide is free and available to download here 

Be clear on cancer

Be clear on cancer, a campaign run by the NHS, have published an easy read guide to let people know about cancer of the oesophagus and stomach. The booklet is full of helpful advice and helps to inform people what cancer is and who is most at risk of getting it. It also provides information on spotting the signs of cancer; such as having heartburn for over 3 weeks and feeling or being sick or losing weight for no reason. 

The guide is available to download here

Getting the sums right

Getting the sums right - How to sustainably finance personal health budgets is a new briefing paper published by the NHS Confederation this month in partnership with Think Local Act Personal. The 11-page document includes case studies from organisations which have already introduced personal health budgets and sets out how organisations can address financial challenges when implementing them.

Download the briefing paper here 

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Death by Indifference: 74 deaths and counting

This Mencap report, published in February 2012, looks at what progress has been made since the publication of Mencap’s original ‘Death by indifference’ report in 2007.

It confirms that, although some positive steps have been taken in the NHS, many health professionals are still failing to provide adequate care to people with a learning disability.

Download the report from the Mencap website.

NAS creates hospital passport

The National Autistic Society has created a passport to be used in hospital by people with autism who need treatment. The passport is designed to help people with autism to communicate their needs to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. 

Download the hospital passport

Film launched to promote cervical screening for women 

A new resource about cervical screening (smear tests) has been launched following the poor uptake of screening for women with learning disabilities. ‘The Smear Test Film’ is a health education film resource for women eligible for cervical screening who have mild and moderate learning disabilities. It has been made by Public Health England in association with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. 

Watch 'The Smear Test Film'

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The Improving Health and Lives Learning Disabilities Observatory

The Improving Health and Lives Learning Disabilities Observatory keeps watch on the health of people with learning disabilities and the health care they receive. They have a website that provides a lot of information and reports on projects they are involved in.

A key publication you will find there is Estimating Future Need for Social Care among Adults with Learning Disabilities in England: An Update. This is an update to a 2008 publication by Eric Emerson and Chris Hatton of estimates of the need for adult social care support among people with learning disabilities in England. Covers the period 2009-2026.

Find out more on their website.
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Good health care for all

The booklet from the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, provides practical hints and tips for people with learning disabilities, family carers and anyone who supports a person with learning disabilities on how to go about using the NHS, what to expect, real life examples of challenges and how they can be overcome as well as some advice about how to get help and some useful contacts to get more information.

Download it from their website. 

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Beat the Heatwave - stay cool in hot weather

The government produced this easy read guide about how to stay cool during hot weather a couple of years ago but the advice remains helpful. 'Keeping healthy when it is really hot', advises people to avoid alcohol, use sun protection and to stay out of the sun in peak times (from 11am - 4pm) during a heatwave. It also recommends to check on neighbours or older people who may struggle in the heat and never to leave people or animals in a parked car for a long amount of time. 

Download from the Haringey Council website

Live with a Healthy Heart

A DVD and booklet that helps people with learning disabilities to understand about coronary heart disease and its risk factors.

Download from the British Heart Foundation website

Postural care pathway for people with learning disabilities

The Learning Disabilities Elf, a blog which looks at the latest evidence in relation to learning disabilities, has published a blog post about postural support and how it can be critical in reducing pain and discomfort for people who have mobility issues. It includes a range of postural support recources and discusses where postural support in the UK.

The Learning Disabilities Elf

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Congential heart disease information in easy read

Community Futures Kent, part of the Avenues Trust Group, helped create an easy read version of a new ‘Adults living with congenital heart disease’ document from NHS Specialised Services. Mencap and the Down’s Heart Group also helped to check the document. 

NHS Protect

Meeting needs and reducing distress in NHS settings

NHS Protect has launched new guidance on the prevention and management of clinically related challenging behaviour in NHS settings.

The guidance is aimed at clinical staff, managers, trainers, and non-clinical staff. It may also be of interest to patients and service users, their carers and families.

It has been developed to assist staff in preventing and managing clinically related challenging behaviour by minimising a patient’s distress, meeting their needs and delivering high quality personalised care, in an environment that is safe for staff, patients and visitors.

The guidance, training videos and other resources and useful tools can be accessed on a dedicated website 

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Understanding Intellectual Disability and Health

Developed by St George's University of London and edited by Shiela Hollins, this website has a wealth of information about this subject.

Find out more on their website.

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Working together: easy steps to improving how people with a learning disability are supported when in hospital


This Hft booklet was put together by a working group of family carers, hospital staff and learning disability nurses and offers useful resources including a Checklist for Admission Meetings. 

The booklet can be downloaded from the Hft wesbite.

The estimated prevalence of visual impairment among people with learning disabilities in the UK by Eric Emerson and Janet Robertson of the Learning Disabilities Observatory

The report, commissioned by RNIB and SeeAbility and published in June 2012, contains estimates of the prevalence of visual impairments among children and adults with learning disabilities in the UK.

Download the report from the IHAL website.

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Easyread leaflet on pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that makes the tiny air sacs in your lungs inflamed (swollen and sore). They then fill with liquid. The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities have funded the production of an easyread leaflet on pneumonia. The guide includes the definition, the symptoms, the diagnosis, the treatment, complications and prevention of pneumonia. 

Download the easyread leaflet on Pneumonia.

Asthma help

Asthma UK have produced a range of free easy to read materials produced in partnership with people with learning disabilities. These materials can be used to talk through the basics of asthma and asthma management. Among the materials are: An easy to read and understand guide to asthma which explains what asthma is, the triggers and treatments and how to look after your asthma, also a guide with four clearly illustrated steps to what to do in an asthma attack.

Find out more on the Asthma UK website

Learning Disabilities and Dementia

The Alzheimer's Society have a factsheet 'Learning Disabilities and Dementia'.

"Advances in medical and social care have led to a significant increase in the life expectancy of people with learning disabilities. Understanding the effects of ageing among this group − including the increased risk of developing dementia - has therefore become increasingly important. This factsheet explains how dementia may be experienced by someone with a learning disability and gives some suggestions for how the person can be supported."

Find out more on their website.

Dementia and people with learning disabilities

This report is the result of a joint working group of the Learning Disability Faculty of the British Psychological Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The main purpose of the report is to enable those working in clinical and social care services to improve the quality of life of people with learning disabilities who develop dementia, by providing guidance to inform assessment, diagnosis, treatment and support. The guidance is aimed at clinicians in learning disability and older peoples’ mental health services and services for younger people with dementia. 

Download the report. 

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Toolkit to maintain good daily health 

A health toolkit has been launched, developed by a team of nurses, which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. 

It contains information to help people maintain good health on a day-to-day basis.

The toolkit is divided into six sections, the first four being relevant to all workers who want to gain a greater understanding of how to best look after people in care. Later sections focus on particular illnesses or conditions to give support staff a more acute understanding of these problems.  

More information.

Download the health toolkit.

Dec 2013: New standards aim to improve health services for people with sensory loss 

Two new guides have been published that will help front line NHS staff to communicate with people who have a range of different needs, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted or have learning disabilities.

The new All Wales Standards for Accessible Communication and Information for People with Sensory Loss focuses on what people should expect to receive when they access healthcare.

Download the guides

Confidential Inquiry Events - presentations available to download

The CIPOLD team have made the presentations that they used in their recent review meetings available to download to the public.

Download the presentations from their website

Hiblio - health film your way

An excellent health site which includes lots of short videos on pregnancy, birth, babies and toddlers as well as other health issues. The videos aren't specifically made for adults with learning difficulties but they would still be great for sharing with individual mums or parents groups.

Visit their website

Your breasts, your health – supporting people with learning disabilities

This free resource from Breast Cancer Care is designed to help people with learning disabilities be breast aware, with the support of their carer. The pack includes a breast awareness book for people with learning disabilities and an accompanying guide for their carer.

Download the resource or order a hard copy 

Easy Read lung cancer leaflet

The NHS has created an Easy Read version of their Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer leaflet, available to download for free.

Download the Easy Read leaflet

In Control's CCG health programme webinar

In Control co-hosted a webinar with NHS England to introduce the personal health budget delivery programme for clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). A recording of the session, together with a copy of the slides can be downloaded from the In Control website.

Visit the In Control website

Are things getting better for people with learning disabilities?

BILD and Mencap ran a consultation, with the Department of Health, to find out from people with learning disabilities and family carers about their experiences of using the health service and what they think needs to change.
Together we have produced a joint report, called Getting Better?, which reports on the consultation and what people with learning disabilities and family carers said. You can also download the results of the online survey.

Download Getting Better? Full Report

Download Getting Better? Easy Read Summary

Download Getting Better Survey Results

Download Getting Better Easy Read Survey Results

Learning Disability Profiles

Improving Health and Lives' Health Profiles are numbers which help people who plan health services. They try to show:
•    How many people have learning disabilities
•    How healthy they are
•    How much health care they get
•    How well social services are looking out for them
They show how your area compares with others and are used by planners in health services and social services. They are also interesting for self-advocates and family carers.

View IHAL's Health Profiles

Department of Health progress report on healthcare for people with learning disabilities

The Department of Health have published their second report, Six Lives: Progress Report on Healthcare for People with Learning Disabilities which outlines the progress made in delivering the recommendations from the initial Six Lives report, what has been achieved so far and what still remains to be completed.

Download the Six Lives report and the easy read version

Government response to the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities

The Norah Fry Research Centre published their report of the Confidential Inquiry in March 2013 which had been set up and funded by the Department of Health in response to a recommendation in “Healthcare for all “(Michael, 2008 DoH). The Confidential Inquiry report showed that people with learning disabilities have a poor experience of healthcare services and also die very early compared to the general population. The confidential inquiry made 18 recommendations and the Government response outlines what it intends to do to ensure that the identified issues are addressed.

Department of Health: Response to the Confidential Inquiry into learning disability

University of Bristol CIPOLD Report

Alternative guide to the NHS in England

Very useful animation explaining the complexity of the NHS, produced by the King's Fund.

Watch the animation

 Alzheimer’s Society 

This site provides access to information on the symptoms and diagnosis of dementia, how to care for people with the condition, and relevant training resources.

It also includes helpful factsheets on, for example, deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS), which were drawn up as part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) to ensure that vulnerable people’s freedoms are not taken away inappropriately. The DoLS apply to vulnerable people aged 18 or over who are unable to make decisions for themselves but who are not detained under the Mental Health Act (1983). As such, the safeguards are likely to affect mainly older people staying in hospitals, residential care homes and residential nursing homes, including people with dementia who are informally admitted to hospitals or care homes, and who do not have the mental capacity or ability to make decisions about their care or treatment.

Find out more on the Alzheimer's Society website

SeeAbility: Easy read eye health information service

This website is an online information service that aims to improve access to eye care information for people with learning disabilities. Eye health charity SeeAbility has a dedicated area called ‘My eye care’ – on its website. It has been developed by SeeAbility together with Mencap service users. ‘My eye care’ has been created by people with learning disabilities and includes easy read factsheets and videos covering eye care related information. In addition to information about what happens during a sight test, the site has links to key aspects of eye health care including advice about wearing glasses, eye-operations and a section outlining the most common eye conditions

Visit SeeAbility's easy read website

 Reasonable adjstments in eye care The Public Health Observatory and SeeAbility have come together to publish a report brings together a number of examples of reasonable adjustments that can be used to make eye care services more accessible for people with learning disabilities.

Download the report from the IHaL website

Talking Therapies

The NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) promotes services in England that offer interventions for depression and anxiety that have been approved by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. The IAPT central team has set up a website to explain programme innovations in different regions of England, and to provide the practitioners and commissioners of talking therapies with documents and resources for adults, and children and young people.

The website also includes links to relevant reports and documents, such as National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance and research, and to other websites, such as that of NHS Choices.

Find out more on the IAPT website 

Department of Health - Personal Budgets easy read leaflet

The English Department of Health (DH) has launched a new, easy read leaflet on personal health budgets. It explains what a personal budget is and includes personal stories, answers to frequently asked questions and further sources of information. The leaflet is part of the DH’s pilot programme, which, subject to a successful evaluation, involves granting anyone who receives NHS continuing care the right to ask for a personal budget, including direct payment for health care.

Download the easy read leaflet from the DH website

Easy Read Health Wales website 

Easy Read Health Wales brings together Easy Read information about all areas of health relevant to people with a learning disability in Wales, enabling them to find out about illnesses, checking their health and leading healthy lives.

People with a learning disability who speak Welsh will also be able to find information on health relevant to their needs.

Visit the Easy Read Health Wales website

"Understanding personal health budgets" leaflet 

The Department of Health has published a revised version of the leaflet on personal health budgets relating to personal health budgets pilot programme. The leaflet explains the concept of a personal health budget being offered to individuals, especially those with a long term condition, and how this can also be used by healthcare professionals, commissioners, and support organisations. It also includes answers to frequently asked questions, shares personal stories and provides further sources of information about personal health budgets.

Download the personal health budget leaflet

The General Medical Council's Learning disabilities website

This site aims to help doctors provide better care for people with learning disabilities by: identifying the issues; highlighting patient perspectives and showing how to put GMC guidance into practice.

More on their website here.

Nurchat - a fortnightly Twitter chat for nurses

An online nurses network of over 700 nurses of all branches on Twitter, meetings take place every two weeks to discuss the topic of the day. In April they held a Twitter chat on nursing and learning disability issues.

For those new to twitter, there are some handy hints on how to use it on the above website, and the transcripts of the conversations that have previously taken place. There are a growing number of learning disability nurses using twitter to keep up to date and share their thoughts on practice.

A good hub for this activity is through www.learningdisabilitynurse.com

More here: http://nurchat.blogspot.co.uk/


picTTalk is a piece of software developed with children and adults with a learning disability, to facilitate stories and conversations about their illness, their life, the impact of their illness, or their future.

Using cue card images via a software interface, provides professionals with a tool that they can use to help children and young people talk about sensitive topics, ask questions about their concerns, and talk about their illness. 

More about picTTalk on their website

Contraceptive choices for women with learning disabilities - an Open University research project

Contraceptive choices for women with learning disabilities is an Open University research project. This inclusive project set out to explore women’s contraceptive decision-making and sought to include women with mild to moderate learning disabilities as well as Open University interviewed 19 women living in several locations across the United Kingdom.  

Find out more information

Download the full report

Improving access to mainstream health services for people with a learning disability

This training video has been made by Surrey and Borders Partnership learning disability teams to provide advice to general hospitals and GPs on how to make reasonable adjustments for people with a learning disability that will improve their access to mainstream health services. Watch the video here.

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My Own Place

'My Own Place' a report from the National Devlopment Team for Inclusion, provides practical tools and advice to help young people with disabilities and their families have good information and be supported to plan so that they have equal access to housing opportunities. This report is part of the three year Department of Health funded project on Housing and Social Inclusion.

Based on the real experiences of young people and their families, the report provides a ‘Housing Pathway’ to be followed as young people plan for their adulthood. The Pathway also sets out the most important issues that need to be tackled strategically in a local area, so that commissioning can ensure high quality information and support for young disabled people.

Download the report from the NDTi website.

Having a severe disability should never stand in the way of having your own home

My Safe Home are the UK's leading provider to help and support people with a disability to buy their own home. They have supported more than 1200 individuals and recently secured new mortgage lending from three providers, meaning that they can now help even more people to buy their own home. 

Find out more information. 

Charities renew pressure to move people out of inpatient units

New campaign guidance for groups and individuals wanting to apply pressure on NHS England and local areas to deliver change for thousands of people with a learning disability, autism and/or challenging behaviour currently stuck in inpatient units, has been produced by Mencap, The Challenging Behaviour Foundation and The National Autistic Society.  

Find out more information >

Download the Making it Happen guidance >

How living in the community can improve independence and confidence of someone with a learning disabilities or autism 

Martin's life has been changed by living in his own home after fifteen years in hospital. When asked 'What's different living here rather than in hospital', he said, "It's quiet, no arguing."

Watch the video >

Homelessness and people with learning disabilities: what do we know?

"Whatever information you use, homelessness is a significant problem amongst people with learning disabilities, and is likely to be on the increase. Official statistics say very little about homelessness amongst people with learning disabilities, and are moving towards making the issue of homelessness amongst people with learning disabilities invisible. We don’t know how many people with learning disabilities are homeless, how they have been made homeless, the extent to which homelessness services are accessible to people with learning disabilities, and how (if at all) people are being supported to regain a home", says academic Chris Hatton in his latest blog post.  

Find out more in Chris Hatton's blog >

Gaps between social care and housing cause unacceptable home adaptation waits for disabled people

Adult social care should establish clear protocols with housing departments to stop unacceptable delays in delivering home adaptations for disabled people, says the Local Government Ombudsman. 

In the report, 'Making a house a home: Local Authorities and disabled adaptations', the ombudsman identified a lack of communication between housing and social care as a key factor in why it gets more than a hundred complaints a year about the Disabled Facilities Grants.  More >     

Download the report > 

Two further reports from the NDTi on housing are:

Making the Move:

'Making the Move' has been written to help people planning and managing housing and support services for people with learning disabilities. It explains the difference between supported living and residential care. It describes different types of housing and support that should be available for people, and how to go about putting them in place.

Find out more on the NDTi website.

"We have experienced being placed very firmly out of the picture altogether"

The report 'Keeping in touch with home', produced by the Challenging Behaviour Foundation and Mencap, reveals the significant barriers families can encounter in trying to keep in touch with children with a learning disability in residential placements.

The Report is the first time guidance has been issued on how residential settings should ensure parents can keep in touch with the thousands of children and young people with a learning disability who often live hundreds of miles from home during their childhood and adolescence in specialist residential placements.

These placements could include residential special schools or colleges, mental health assessment and treatment units, and children’s homes.

Download the report >

The Real Tenancy Test

'The Real Tenancy Test' has been written to help people providing housing and support services for people with learning disabilities. It is a simple test, based on a small number of questions, to help review whether services called supported living are really giving people their housing rights and helping them to live how they want to. It describes important things to consider when planning housing and tenancies for people, including when to use different types of tenancies and how to handle issues of capacity.

Find out more on the NDTi website.

A Real Home A Real Life

Stories, told through video, about eight people with learning disabilities or autism, the kinds of support they receive and the varied ways they have gained a real home of their own and are living their own lives.

Watch a real home a real life

NICE guideline on the transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care home settings for adults with social care needs

This guideline covers the transition between inpatient hospital settings and community or care homes for adults with social care needs. It aims to improve people's experience of admission to, and discharge from, hospital by better coordination of health and social care services.  

Download the NICE guideline

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Easy read Centre for Sustainable Energy

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has created a range of easy read resources about heat and energy for people living in their own home. The resources look at heating controls, dealing with damp and using a night storage heater. They also cover how to read energy meters and how to save energy and money at home. 

Download the easy read resources for free here

Golden Lane Housing bond

Mencap and Golden Lane Housing launched a charity housing bond which will allow homes to be bought for people with a learning disability. In this video parents, whose children have had a new home and support from the bond, talk about their experiences and how the Bond has changed their lives.

Find out more and watch the video here

Investing in Ordinary Lives: innovations in housing for people with learning disabilities

This new initiative has been set up by the Housing and Support Alliance, the Cameron Trust and the Centre for Welfare Reform and aims to encourage wealthy individuals, corporate investors and lenders and small landlords to invest in housing for people with learning disabilities.

Find out more on the Learning Disability Today website

Guidance for applications to the Court of Protection in relation to tenancy agreements

The Association of Public Authority Deputies (APAD), and other court users have asked the court to issue guidance about applications in relation to signing or terminating tenancy agreements on behalf of adults who lack the mental capacity to understand or sign the agreement themselves.

This guidance has been drawn up with the approval of the senior judge of the Court of Protection, and sets out the circumstances when it may be necessary to make an application, and puts in place streamlined procedures for receiving applications relating to more than one person, thereby simplifying some parts of the court procedure.

Download the PDF from the Housing LIN website

NHS England's new plan proposes ‘homes not hospitals’ 

'Building the right support: A national implementation plan to develop community services and close inpatient facilities', has been published today by NHS England, The Local Government Association, and The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services which they say will 'radically improve learning disability services'. 

People with a learning disability will be supported to lead more independent lives and have greater say about the support they receive under the proposed plan.

Download the implementation plan

More information on the NHS website 

Download the service model for commissioners of health and social care services 

Young people learning to avoid eviction

Part of pre-tenancy training course for homeless young people designed by McCowan, the “resettlement passport” is made up of 10 modules that detail every step of renting a home: how to make a bid for social housing properties, understanding your responsibilities as a tenant as well as what to expect of a landlord, managing benefits and budgeting on a low income, reading meters and paying utility bills, how to avoid debt, community awareness and dealing with isolation.  

Find out more information

Human Rights

Voting guide

Have your say - Register your vote

Registering to vote is the first step to having your say in elections, so you need to make sure you're registered to have your say. You cannot vote unless you register.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 20 April 2015.  

In 2010, United Response launched Every Vote Counts, a major campaign designed to make politics accessible to all, particularly people with learning disabilities. The resources they produced include information on how politics affects your life, how politics works and how to get involved. 

The Dimensions campaign Love Your Vote aims to raise awareness of voting and to increase the number of people who vote, to give everyone the chance to shape the future of the country.

Speaking Up have created an accessible website entitled 'Promote the vote'. It uses videos to explain how voting works.

Mencap's easy read guide was designed to help people know more about how they can register to vote. Mencap also have a section on their website which helps to explain what voting is and why it is important.

Enable Scotland provide some useful resources and links to help you understand how voting works and what your rights are.

You can register to vote online via the GOV UK website 

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A Life Like Any Other? Human Rights of Adults with Learning Disabilities'
Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights

The report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, made up of members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Among the Committee's observations were:

"The evidence seen by the Committee shows it is still necessary to emphasise that adults with learning disabilities have the same human rights as everyone else."

"Evidence to the Committee suggests that adults with learning difficulties are more liable to social exclusion, poverty and isolation, and that efforts to improve their lives have had little
impact on some."

"The Committee is concerned that adults with learning disabilities in health and residential settings suffer neglect, abuse, discrimination and indifference."

Download Volume One - The Committee report

Download Volume Two - The written evidence

Download the easy read summary.

Commission launches new information on human rights

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a new area on their website aimed at bringing human rights to life, explaining how they work and the protections they offer. 

Highlights include a brand new human rights animation and a new section focusing on what people should do if they think their human rights have been breached.  

Find out more information.

Watch the Principles of Human Rights video. 

Safer surfing online and pressure for easy-read information to be in EU Data Protection Reform

Inclusion Europe, in collaboration with its partners ANFFAS, Mencap, Plena Inclusion and PSOUU, have developed the Safe Surfing project. Safe Surfing aims to ensure that people with learning disabilities know how to protect their data and safely use the internet by improving their knowledge and skills related to data protection and raises awareness of challenges faced when needing to decide which data and information they want to share with others.

More information. 

Downlaod the European standards for making information easy to read and understand. 

Guide to the law on deprivation of liberty of children

There are likely to be a number of children and young people with disabilities who are deprived of their liberty without lawful authority in foster homes, children’s homes, care homes, residential special schools, boarding schools, further education colleges with residential accommodation, hospitals and elsewhere.

They have rights under article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights not to be deprived of their liberty without legal authorisation. However, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards only apply to people who are 18 and over. Legal trainer Belinda Schwehr sets out what practitioners need to consider in relation to cases where a child may be deprived of liberty.

Find out more information. 

 ‘Know your rights’ guides on getting the right support launched

A series of guides that explain the rights of individuals with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges – with a focus on those who are stuck in or at risk of being sent to assessment and treatment units – has been launched by a coalition of charities, family members and solicitors.

Mencap, the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, Respond, CHANGE, family members and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors have produced the guides in response to the fact that many people with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges remain in inpatient units, often far away from families, and sometimes for many years. 

These guides explain everything from what challenging behaviour means and what good support looks like to the rights of people when in a unit and how to plan a successful discharge back to the community. 

They include top tips, key points to be focused on and signposting to useful resources. 

Visit the website for more information 

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Implementation of the rights of disabled people to independent living

This Report, published in March 2012, examines the UK's implementation of the right to independent living for disabled people, as enshrined in Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Despite the UK having ratified the UNCRPD, independent living does not currently exist as a freestanding, justiciable right in UK law. This Report argues that the existing matrix of human rights, equality and community care law, while instrumental in the protection and promotion of the right to independent living, is not sufficient. The right to independent
living should be added as an outcome in any forthcoming Bill on adult social care in England.

Download the report.

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Human Rights in Healthcare - a framework for local action

A Department of Health document, developed with the British Institute of Human Rights and published in 2007, the purpose of this framework is to assist NHS Trusts to develop and use a human rights based approach (HRBA) to support their core business of planning and delivering high quality and accessible health services for all.

Download the report.

Human Rights Act 1998

You can read the Human Rights Act on the legislation.gov.uk website.

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A Guide to the Human Rights Act

Produced by the Ministry of Justice, this is an easy read guide for people with learning disabilties.

Download the Guide.


Easy read guide to voting and registering to vote

This is the time of year when local council electoral registration letters come through the letterbox. Mencap have made a support pack for people with a learning disability, their support workers and families to help understand what voting is, why it is so important, and how they can register to vote.

Download the easy read guide 

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Your Human Rights - a guide for disabled people

Produced by the British Institute of Human Rights, this guide provides practical information about human rights, and their relevance to disabled people. It is written directly for disabled people. The guide will also be useful for people working with disabled people or those wanting to learn more about the impact of human rights on disabled people.

Find out more and download the guide from the BiHR website where you will find lots more information and resources about human rights.

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Ours to own - Your Human Rights

An Easy Read publication from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission about what human rights are and why they are important, also has examples of how they can be used.

Download a copy.

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Equality & Human Rights Commission online human rights resource for public sector

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has an online resource about human rights to help public sector bodies in England and Wales and organisations carrying out public functions and advocacy.

The resource focuses on nine public sectors areas: adult social care; children's services; health; housing; education services; local government; criminal justice, courts and prisons; policing and immigration and asylum.

Find out more on their website.

Disabled Childhood: A Legal Handbook

Disabled Children: a Legal Handbook is a guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The handbook explores that many, often overlapping sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do. Available for free on the Council for Disabled Children’s website

View the handbook on the CDC website

‘Know your rights’ guides on getting the right support

A series of guides that explain the rights of individuals with a learning disability and behaviour that challenges – with a focus on those who are stuck in or at risk of being sent to assessment and treatment units – has been launched by a coalition of charities, family members and solicitors. 

These guides explain everything from what challenging behaviour means and what good support looks like to the rights of people when in a unit and how to plan a successful discharge back to the community. 

They include top tips, key points to be focused on and signposting to useful resources.  

Download the guides from the Mencap website

Bath mum

Bath mum writes book on Down's Syndrome to help other parents

A Bath mum has written a book to help parents who find out that their baby has Down's syndrome, after being given an incorrectly negative outlook following her son's birth. At the time, the information Caroline and her husband Simon received, focussed on the negatives of the condition and didn't mention the fact that children with Down's syndrome can attend mainstream school, enjoy clubs and, like their peers go on to gain fulfilling jobs. Caroline's book The Label: A Story for Families will be published in January.  More >

If you can recommend any information about people with learning disabilities that would be useful to others, please let us know at enquiries@bild.org.uk


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