A new project which aims to help people with learning disabilities to become more included in their local communities has recently been launched by The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD).

Four documents make up the Active, Connected, Included project, developed in collaboration with a number of local organisations, including community groups, local authorities and Third Sector Interface (TSI) organisations.

Each document is aimed at a different audience. The first document, ‘Your right to be included in community life’, is for people with learning disabilities themselves. The document is presented in an easy-read format and explains your rights as someone with a learning disability, as well as where to get help and advice about how to become more involved in community activities.

The second document, ‘The thinking behind the Active, Connected, Included approach’, explains the theory behind the practical guidance for support workers, community organisations and families. It considers the barriers that people with learning disabilities face when it comes to accessing community-based activities and services, and therefore highlights what support workers and organisations should be aware of when encouraging participation.

Helping people with learning disabilities, those who support them and activity leaders to work together 

The third document, ‘Guidance, questions and tips for people who run community groups’, offers practical advice for group leaders and volunteers on how to better include people with learning disabilities. The guidance asks leaders to think about the changes (reasonable adjustments) they could make to help make the experience of being involved easier for someone with a learning disability.

The final document of the pack, ‘Guidance, questions and tips for supporters and families’ offers practical advice for support workers and families on how to help people with learning disabilities become more included in community life. The document suggests families and carers should find activities that the individual enjoys, regardless of whether the group is specifically for people with learning disabilities or not. It also offers advice on transport, communication and overcoming misconceptions.

The SCLD hope this multi-pronged approach will help people with learning disabilities, those who support them and people who run community activities and groups to work together.

For more information about the project, please visit their website.