Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Good Lives Manifesto: LDE calls on next government to prioritise needs of people with a learning disability

Learning Disability England has published its Good Lives Manifesto 2024, which includes six key priorities for the next government.

More than 450 people from the 680 organisation were involved in creating these key goals, highlighting what is most important to them to ensure people with learning disabilities lead good lives.

Good Lives manifesto highlights six key priorities for the next government

The six key goals ask all political candidates to:

  1. Champion the rights of all people with learning disabilities, including people from minority ethnic communities and those with high support needs.

This key aim of the Good Lives Manifesto asks political candidates to put disability equality at the heart of UK law, including incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into legislation. LDE also wants to see a commitment to a new cross government strategy which ensures all policy includes people with learning disabilities.

  1. Reform social care so it meets the rights of people with learning disabilities and their families and provide fair pay for social care workers.

This includes providing an immediate, government funded pay uplift for frontline carers and support workers so they all receive a minimum basic pay’ level of NHS Band 3 staff in 2024/25. LDE members also want to ensure that all people drawing on social care are included in policy that focuses on person-centred and culturally competent approaches.

  1. Have effective, reasonably adjusted health services that contribute to better health and raise the life expectancy of people with learning disabilities.

Health inequalities faced by people with learning disabilities are stark and preventable, and this policy calls for more investment into reasonably adjusted preventative care, such as access to GPs, dentists and opticians, health checks and programmes to support people with learning disabilities. LDE wants to see people with learning disabilities prioritised on hospital waiting lists and ensure the NHS uses multiple formats for all written communications including large print, braille, easy read, and audio.

  1. Help people with learning disabilities get the jobs they want and ensure they are supported by a system that recognises these contributions.

Just 6% of people with learning disabilities are in paid employment, yet 86% want to work. LDE are therefore asking political candidates to support disabled people into employment, report on the employment and pay gap, and reform access to work and the Disability Confident scheme. To do this, MPs must work with people with learning disabilities and their supported to find out what is truly needed and remove barriers to work.

  1. Make sure people with learning disabilities have the same access to housing options as their non-disabled peers.

There are still more than 2,000 people in secure hospital settings and LDE are calling on the next government to end the use of secure hospitals as homes for people with learning disabilities. They say funding the right community support is crucial to achieve this aim, as well as levelling up social housing and supporting reform of rules for rent setting for housing associations in relation to Supported Housing and public subsidy.

  1. Ensure the general election is accessible to all.

Finally, LDE members want all political candidates to ensure they provide accessible information to constituents about their role as a public representative. They are also calling on them to raise awareness of the My Vote My Voice campaign and arrange inclusive and accessible election hustings for their constituents.

“We must be listened to”

Learning Disability England says with the general election on the horizon, it is more important than ever that the voices of people with learning disabilities are heard within politics and policy.

The general public are now being called upon to share the Good Lives manifesto with their local MPs and other political candidates and ask them to pledge their support.

Scott Watkin BEM, Co-Chair of Learning Disability England’s Representative Body, said: “With 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK, we must be listened to.”

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