Forum house rules
Our forums are moderated every day by our staff and supporters. We’re here to make sure the forums are a safe place for you to talk and to keep the discussions respectful and focused.
Who are the forums for?
- For people with a learning disability
- For family and carers of people with a learning disability
- To talk about learning disability and its related issues
What are the forums not for?
- They are not to be used to discuss professional/ research aspects of learning disability
- They are not for students or academics to post research questions
- They are not for selling or the promotion of goods and services
- Not for making explicit recommendations for products and services where there is a clear conflict of interest (ie. you are the owner or an employee from the business)
- Not for Mencap staff or Mencap local groups to discuss work related issues
Your screen name and profile
Screen names should be clear and cannot contain any spaces. Don't use your email address as a screen name as everyone will be able to see it. You should also not use swear words, or language that is likely to cause offence.
You cannot have multiple profiles. If you are found to have more than one profile you will be removed and your profiles will be deleted.
We want our forums to be a safe and welcoming place for people with a learning disability, their families and carers who have an interest in learning disability. We ask you to keep your discussions and messages focused on being supportive and sensitive to people's feelings. We don’t want to stop free and open discussion, but we do ask that you::
- Respect confidentiality issues,including the sharing of information that is likely to identify people or persons and compromise their right to privacy
- Not comment on matters which are subject to legal processesand/or pre-trial reporting - UK libel and contempt of court laws apply everywhere, including online
- Not make accusations of an illicit or criminal behaviouragainst people. Libel law applies to the internet too, and if you have concerns over an individual’s actions, please use the correct channels to either make a complaint or contact the police
- Avoid making emphatic recommendationsabout matters or decisions to other forum users when you may not have the full facts of a person’s situation to make such a judgement.
Giving advice and support
We want people to give each other useful emotional support and advice. Everyone's experiences and needs are different - please be sensitive to others. If you are recommending other sites, organisations or services - or are receiving recommendations - only take them as personal recommendations that you should also check out for yourself. Mencap cannot endorse all recommendations given on these forums.
Also, people may not always be looking for advice, but just for others to listen, or give emotional support.
Give a little respect...
When using our forum, please respect the views and beliefs of other people. Learning disability can be an emotional subject, and it’s something people often feel strongly about.
No bullying here!
We don't tolerate disabilist bullying, or any other kind of intolerance such as, but not limited to, racism, sexism, homophobia and ageism. Do not use threatening or abusive language - if someone has made an offensive statement please report them to Mencap and do not enter into an argument with them. If we see any discussions or messages that are aggressive or disrespectful to others we will remove them. We will also remove posts that use bad language,or that are intimidatory or discriminatory towards others.
Social media sharing
We actively encourage people to share their experiences, advice and support with other people - and sharing a forum post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media is a great way of doing this. But please keep in mind that broadening discussions to wider audiences can have unpredictable consequences - think before you type, or press ‘share’.
Don't advertise or promote
The forums are not for commercial organisations to advertise or promote their products or services. We will delete posts that have this type of information or anything that looks like spam.
Reporting a post
If you think that someone is being offensive, or breaking the house rules of the forum, you can contact us using the 'Report this post' link. We take abusive, threatening or discriminatory messages or material very seriously and will take action.
Do not give out personal information
We hope that this forum will be a safe and supportive environment, but you should still not give out out email addresses or other personal details for either yourself or other people (excluding public addresses and generic email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do not identify anyone by full name or location, especially when talking about a child. If you want to talk about someone you should use a first name only or even a nickname or initials.
We will ban people who continue to break the rules
We take our house rules seriously. They are in place to protect our users and create a supportive environment.
We will send you a message if we feel your post needs to be changed, or someone has reported what you have written. If the problem is minor, we will allow up to two warnings. Any more than two warnings and we will delete your profile and ban you from using the forum.
Any serious offence will result in an immediate ban and the deletion of your posts.
Mencap has the right to change or update the house rules at any time.
For more information about the Mencap website you can read our Terms and conditions.