Learning disability services provider Dimensions has launcheda social care charter calling on the Government to take action toensure people with disabilities get the opportunity to live the life they want to lead.

The charter has been developed by peoplewith learning disabilities and autism who are supported byDimensions and sets out the 5 most important rights they must haveto live the life they choose, in the way they choose, free frombureaucracy, barriers and bullying.

This was launched in Parliamentlast week at a round table event where 5 people that Dimensionssupports talked with MPs and policymakers about what good supportmeans to them. The round table was chaired by Henry Smith MP. The charter aims to engage decision-makers as to the needs of peoplewith learning disabilities and autism and for these needs to becentral to social care commissioning and reforms.  The 5priorities in the charter are:

  • I want choice and control over my money: Everyone should have apersonal budget and all local authorities should ensurepersonalised support -  "one size does not fit all"
  • I want greater independence: People should have a say in wherethey live, the right to work and training, and access to learningand development
  • I want to be part of my community: Environments should be moreaccessible; and large employers and public sector and healthcareservices should be trained on autism and learning disabilities
  • I want a voice and to be listened to: People should have aright to vote, participate in politics and public service,contribute to consultations and inform decisions that will impacttheir lives
  • I want control and choice over my relationships: Everyoneshould be able to choose who provides day-to-day support, how andwhen it is delivered, and who they live with.

Steve Scown, chief executive of Dimensions, said: "In the upcomingdebates around the social care White Paper, it is essential thatthe needs of people with learning disabilities and autism are notmarginalised. This charter could not come at a better time, andmust serve as an important reminder to policymakers of thefundamental right for people to be involved in decisions thataffect their support and quality of life. "This isn't just aboutmoney - it's about the need for a widespread change in culture andattitudes to care. There is no point giving someone a personalbudget if they then don't have real choice about their lives andthey do not receive a personal service. Every day we see the realdifference a personal approach can make to people's lives.Unfortunately, it's a postcode lottery at the moment. Many councilsare offering old-fashioned "we know best" services. This needs tochange."

To read the full charter or an easy read version, goto:  http://www.dimensions-uk.org/charter/