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Independent Living for People With Learning Disabilities

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 28 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Independent Living Learning Disabilities

The move toward self-advocacy for people with learning disabilities includes the right to independent living. The Disability Rights Commission believes that a disabled person should be empowered by the right to choose where they live, and who they live with.

What Is Independent Living Exactly?

A person with learning disabilities may need extra help and support with everyday activities. Independent living doesn’t mean that they have to live independently of support or care, rather that they should receive support for the choices that they make. The ethos behind independent living is that they should have just as much right as other people to make these choices as to where they live, as well as the people that they live with.

Independent living also means having control over what assistance and equipment is available, to help them go about their daily lives. For instance, a learning disabled person may need extra support with finding appropriate transport so that they can go shopping or attend appointments. Another example is if a learning disabled requires support aids in the shape of someone who can help them communicate when out and about. Quite often such assistance has been provided in such a way that the person requiring the support, despite having preferences, has no choice or control over how their needs are met.

Greater choice and involvement in decision making with regards to independent living would lead to and the enforce the right to have equal access to services and resources. These services go beyond support from social services, extending to include more choice in provisions such as transport and mobility, housing, employment, healthcare, as well as education and training. This in turn would help people with learning disabilities integrate into a society where learning disabled people can enjoy as much advocacy and inclusion as those in mainstream society.

Independent Living Strategy

The UK Government has stated that by 2013 it intends to have given disabled (including learning disabled) people more control and choice over their living arrangements and provisions, to help them to live more independently. With this in mind, they initiated what has become known as the Independent Living Strategy. It is a cross-departmental strategy that brings together many different initiatives aimed at improving choice, control and greater access to support aids, resources and services that promote independent living for people of all ages with different impairments and disabilities.

One important aspect of the strategy is the move towards personalising services. This is so that they can effectively cater for each individual person’s needs. It is thought that by personalising services and provisions for disabled people, they can voice their preferences and have more chance of realising them. They believe that this choice should be available for everyone, regardless of whether they fund their own support and assistance or receive support from the state.

Alongside this strategy, the Government have also set up an annual Independent Living Strategy Review to run for a period of five years. Each annual report is published by the Office For Disability Issues, and then presented to the Life Chances Ministerial Group. The hope is that by carrying out this annual review, and by working with disabled people, there will be greater scope for assessing if and how the strategy is working in practice, and whether any new legislation needs to be made after 2013.

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Hi My brother suffers from learning disability and I want to provide a service of assisted/supported living for individuals with those needs. How would I get in to this and who would be the first point of call? Thanks
Imran - 28-Jan-18 @ 10:06 PM
None - Your Question:
Hi we are supporting LD adults in a shared house and have had concerns for the protection of these adults as they live without a support worker in the house. We have put CCTV in to help protect them and it covers the front and back door - for security reasons and landings - for trips and falls e.g. if someone has had a fall we would be able to go and rescue them. The guys who live in the house are happy with the CCTV as they realize it would only affect them if they lived their lives by the doors or on the landing and I get the impression it helps make them feel safe, as it not only monitors unwanted people accessing he property , in case someone has left any of the doors unlocked, it can also act as a deterrent for people 'snooping' in other people's rooms. Can you advise if this is acceptable or is this not ideal in terms of Human Rights and Privacy. It has been suggested that it is intrusive but I am unclear if this would apply to a front and back doors and landings/stairwell? We would be happy to remove it but are keen to provide as much protection for our adults as possible to enable them to live as independently as possible.

Our Response:
No this should be fine, it's in the communal areas and all the residents are aware of it.
AboutLearningDisabilities - 6-May-16 @ 12:34 PM
Hi we are supporting LD adults in a shared house and have had concerns for the protection of these adults as they live without a support worker in the house.We have put CCTV in to help protect them and it covers the front and back door - for security reasons and landings - for trips and falls e.g. if someone has had a fall we would be able to go and rescue them.The guys who live in the house are happy with the CCTV as they realize it would only affect them if they lived their lives by the doors or on the landing and I get the impression it helps make them feel safe, as it not only monitors unwanted people accessing he property , in case someone has left any of the doors unlocked, it can also act as a deterrent for people 'snooping' in other people's rooms.Can you advise if this is acceptable or is this not ideal in terms of Human Rights and Privacy.It has been suggested that it is intrusive but I am unclear if this would apply to a front and back doors and landings/stairwell?We would be happy to remove it but are keen to provide as much protection for our adults as possible to enable them to live as independently as possible.
None - 4-May-16 @ 4:49 PM
My partner suspects his brother, who has learning difficulties is being abused financially by his carer. His brother lives alone. His carer checks on him and has control of his money. His brother never seems to have money or tobacco. He often has nothing in the fridge. This has been going on for years. Could you advise on this please Also his accommodation is in a bad state of repair and his landlord does nothing. Also been going on for years. Hopingyou can help Thank yoi
terri - 21-Oct-15 @ 3:26 PM
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