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 Adults with learning disabilities 'invisible'

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Debbie Lou

Number of posts : 218
Age : 49
Registration date : 2007-05-20

PostSubject: Adults with learning disabilities 'invisible'   Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:31 am

Adults with learning disabilities 'invisible' Full Story Adults with learning disabilities living at home have become "invisible" because many local authorities are not providing adequate support services for them, a report published today found.

The Missed Out, Missing Out study by the charity Quarriers highlights Scotland's "hidden" population.

It said a large proportion of Scotland's estimated 12,625 adults with learning difficulties, many of whom live at home with elderly carers, receive less recognition and access to services than those in supported accommodation.

The report also found there was a lack of tailored, personal life plans for adults in some local authorities.

Councils were asked to reply to a series of questions about provisions for adults with learning disabilities.

Despite a review in 2000 recommending that local authorities and health boards set up registers of adults with disabilities, only three out of 11 councils which got back in touch reported that they could distinguish between those receiving and those not receiving a service.

One local authority reported that "they did not know if people were dead or just not getting a service".

Following the findings, the report makes six recommendations.

These include ensuring everyone who wants a personal life plan can have one and making the collection of data by local authorities on adults with learning disabilities a priority.

Report author Lucy Johnston also calls for the development of programmes on how to manage budgets, information on housing support services and the development of respite services for carers.

Ms Johnston said: "Opportunity, choice and service availability should not be driven by where a person lives or with whom they live.

"Adults with learning disabilities who live at home, often into middle age and beyond, have a right to equal access to the services and support they need to lead as independent and as full a life as possible."

Phil Robinson, chief executive of Quarriers, said: "People with learning disabilities living in the family home have become the invisible.

"Their needs and aspirations and those of the families who care for them are unknown, their future requirements disregarded and their right to recognition and resources ignored."

He added: "Our challenge is to acknowledge the 'hidden' people in our communities and ensure they are no longer missing out."

Christine Grahame MSP, convener of Holyrood's health and sport committee, said: "Missed Out, Missing Out highlights the stark inequalities in council services available to adults living at home with learning difficulties.

"Action is needed to improve the support people receive, regardless of where they live, to ensure they can continue to live independently as they are entitled to expect."
Release Date 16/09/2008 Source Press Association CountryEngland
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