The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and Values Incorporated have today launched a new guide for local business so that they can ensure they are “open for all”.

The report, titled ‘Accomplished Communities’, is the culmination of three years’ work carried out in the Kent communities of Swale, Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells, and aims to ensure that need for access for all is understood  and acted upon.

Alongside this report, the organisations have also published a guide for staff of public services, local businesses and community services which explains how they can make themselves more accessible to people with a learning disability.

Both the report and guide aim to provide local communities with all the tools they need to make themselves more welcoming to people with learning disabilities and to improve the service that people with learning disabilities get when they access services.

Christine Burke, Senior Development Manager at Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities said: “Although the Human Rights Act includes the right to participate in the life of one’s local community, we still hear too many first-hand accounts of the barriers that people with learning disabilities face, to participate in ordinary community life. These can range from unwelcoming, hostile or unhelpful attitudes to a lack of accessible information or difficulties in accessing transport or other local facilities.”

Simon Goldsmith, proprietor of Values Incorporated, said: “The Accomplished Community report helps us to think about how we all work together. It goes beyond sharing information and collaboration to working together on delivery across sectors. The development of the eight Community Accomplishments will add to the further debate on how we develop much clearer measures that show how we are working to achieve equality across whole communities not just within individual services.”

The Accomplished Community report and Thinking about Inclusion guide are available at www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/publications/accomplished-community www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/publications/thinking-about-inclusion  and www.valuesinc.co.uk