Removing disability-based defences to ensure equality before the law: a blessing or a curse?
Most countries have signed up to a UN principle that disability-based legal defences are infantalising and contravene the human right to equal treatment. However, people often end up 'detained for treatment' rather than detained in prison anyway. What should be done? Experts from the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law discuss.
What to expect at Learning Disability Today London…
Health may be unpredictable but opportunities should be universal – that’s a value we hold dear at Learning Disability Today. It will underpin everything you experience at our upcoming learning and exhibition day in London on November 22. We will be joined by some of the most respected voices in social care and empowerment including Choice Support, Mencap and former health minister (currently shadow health minister) Norman Lamb MP.
Controversial or constructive?
Interview: Rosa Monckton suffered a backlash when she made the case for people with learning disabilities to be exempted from minimum wage protection, in order to create more job openings. Learning Disability Today visited the learning disability training centre she’s set up, to explore the debate around employment challenges.
Transforming practice into policy: a bridge over troubled water
Resolve Care: giving people the best chance
To be Frank
Gone, but not forgotten
Lost in transition
Despite good practice guidelines having been available for some years, transition from children’s to adult social services can still be a traumatic time for young people with learning disabilities and their families. Editor Dan Parton reports news in depthDeborah Meldrew is worried her son, who has autism and a severe language disorder, turns 18 in December and she is unsure what social care provision will be available to him from his local authority in South London after his birthday.
For instance, her son attends a respite service for under 18s. “You would think that by October [at the time of writing] I would have heard from the local council telling me my son is going to have to leave this service and they will be in touch as to what he can do afterwards,” she says. “But I’ve heard nothing.”
Getting it right for people with learning disabilities
Treat Me Right! started out providing learning disability training for healthcare staff in an NHS Trust, but has since snowballed, driven forward in part by a man with Down’s syndrome. Editor Dan Parton reports:
When John Keavney, who has Down’s syndrome, collapsed at his home with breathing difficulties in 2009, he was rushed to hospital. He remained there for four weeks and found his experience difficult, confusing and sometimes upsetting. But once he recovered, Keavney resolved to put his experiences to good use and improve the situation for other people with learning disabilities who have to go into hospital.
He became an active member of the Treat Me Right! campaign, and now delivers training to health professionals – from doctors and nurses to midwives, students and junior doctors – and much more at his local NHS Trust in Ealing. As part of the Treat Me Right! team, Keavney works alongside Elsa Morris and delivers up to four learning disability awareness courses each month at Ealing Hospital and Ealing Community Health Services, to groups of between six and 15 people. He talks about his experiences and how healthcare professionals can improve their treatment of people with learning disabilities.