Disability consultancy Paradigm has launched Reach: Supportfor living an ordinary life, which aims to ensure that people stay committed tosupporting people with learning disabilities in a way that enables them to livea life of their choosing.
The standards are successors to the Reach Standards inSupported Living, which were launched in 2002 and set 11 standards forsupported living.
Launched at the Learning Disability Today conference atKensington Olympia on November 28, Reach: Support for living an ordinary life, reflectsthe developments made within the sector in that time.
Rather than being an assessment tool, Reach is a resourceand set of standards that encourages people to explore what support for livingan ordinary life looks like. If changes are needed in a person’s life Reach isdesigned to help professionals agree the desired alterations with the serviceuser, plan and take action together.
Reach defines what support for living is and helps to ensurepeople receive, or are moving towards, support for living their ordinary life.It also looks to clarify the standards of support for living to ensure that ‘supportedliving’ doesn’t become a model that people can simply tick as ‘achieved’.
Sally Warren, managing director of Paradigm, emphasised thatthe new standards are not about ticking boxes, but engaging in a conversationwith service users and finding out what they want. “It’s aboutself-determination,” she said. “We want to see people’s lives changing becauseof what they’ve said.”
As Warren told Learning Disability Today in a feature in theNovember/December edition: “Lots (of providers] tell us now they ‘do’ supportedliving, and that residential homes are gone and people are living fulllives. But when we go and visit peopleat home we have found that lots of people are living in de-registered services,claiming to be supported living but their quality of life hasn’t significantlyimproved.
“While we know there are real challenges in terms offinances, we have to stay committed to the true principles of what we callsupport for living, which is the right to choose who you live with and whosupports you.”