Children and adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are, like everyone else, unique individuals.

But sometimes it is helpful to talk about groups of people:

  • who have common concerns
  • who have distinctive needs
  • who face barriers to being included
  • who need help to fight for their equal rights.

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities:

  • have more than one disability
  • have a profound learning disability
  • have great difficulty communicating
  • need high levels of support with most aspects of daily life
  • may have additional sensory or physical disabilities, complex health needs or mental health difficulties
  • may have behaviours that challenge us.

Learning disability explained

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Raising our Sights

Mencap and the PMLD Network have produced a series of how-to guides and films to help local areas meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), funded by the Department of Health.

The guides are aimed at families, commissioners and anyone responsible for supporting or developing services for people with PMLD. You can download the guides for free below.

What is Raising our Sights?

In 2010, Professor Jim Mansell published a report called Raising our sights, which looked at services and support for people with PMLD. In the report, Professor Mansell outlined what needed to change to improve the lives of people with PMLD. These how-to guides focus on his key recommendations.

10 how-to guides

The ten guides below cover different topics and show you how to:

  • recognise good services and support for people with PMLD
  • challenge and campaign where people with PMLD are not getting the right support
  • make these changes happen if you're a commissioner, including checklists for commissioners on each topics.
6 accompanying films about PMLD

The six films accompany some of the guides and illustrate the importance of making these changes. They also highlight the impact that the right support can have on the lives of people with PMLD and their families.

Raising our sights

 

Download the report Raising our Sights: services for adults with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities, written by Professor Jim Mansell.

Download resource

Download the guides

Girl smiling

How-to guide 1: advocacy

This guide to advocacy will help local areas implement the Raising our Sights recommendations, and understand and meet the advocacy needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

Download resource
Lady looking to camera

How-to guide 2: clinical procedures

This clinical procedures guide will help local areas implement the Raising our Sights recommendations and ensure the inclusion of people with PMLD. 

Watch our short film about clinical procedures

Download resource
Girl learning sign

How-to guide 3: communication

This communication guide is aimed at a national level and focuses on what ‘good’ looks like and what needs to be in place to meet the communication needs of people with PMLD.

Download resource
Boy at school

How-to guide 4: health

This health guide will help commissioners in local areas implement the recommendations from the report and understand and meet the health needs of people with PMLD.

Download resource
Girl in a garden

How-to guide 5: housing

This housing guide aims to address aspects of regulation and policy which are currently acting as barriers to people with PMLD accessing suitable housing.

Watch our short film about housing

Download resource
Simon with dog

How-to guide 6: personalisation

This personalisation guide will help local areas understand and meet the personalisation needs of people with PMLD.

Watch our short film about personalisation

Download resource
Family

How-to guide 7: support for families

This guide on support for families will help local areas implement  recommendations about short breaks and meet the needs of families of people with PMLD.

Watch our short film about support for families

Download resource
Boy with instrument

How-to guide 8: training the workforce

This guide to training the workforce will help local areas focus on what ‘good’ looks like and what needs to be in place to ensure that we have the right staff to support people with PMLD and their families. 

Download resource
Man looking at camera

How-to guide 9: what people do in the day

This guide aims to make sure people with PMLD and their families are able to access meaningful and interesting activities in places where their needs can be met.

Watch our short film about what people do in the day
 

Download resource
Wheelchair

How-to guide 10: wheelchairs

This wheelchairs guide is specifically aimed at those who support people with PMLD who need more complex seating.

Watch our short film about wheelchairs
 

Download resource
Girl at school

How-to guide 11: commissioning

This guide is aimed at commissioners and other people responsible for planning and commissioning health and social care services at a local level. It will also be useful for organisations that provide health or social care services for people with PMLD.

Download resource

How to get the support you need

Phone or email our Mencap Direct Team for guidance and information about what support we can offer you.

Or why not take a look at FamilyHub? This is our online community for parents and family carers of people with a learning disability, and is a place for sharing experiences, advice and support.

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