About Policy Shapers

We want people with a learning disability to be able to live their lives the way their want.

We work with the government and others who make decisions about law, policy and practice. We make sure that these people understand what support people with a learning disability need to be able to live an independent and fulfilling life.

We do this in different ways including writing briefings and reports, responding to consultations and meeting decision-makers face to face.

We want people with a learning disability and their families to be involved as much as possible in this work. They know first-hand what needs to change and what good support looks like.

How to become a Policy Shaper

If you are someone with a learning disability, a family member or carer, who would like to help us shape policies and laws, then we want to hear from you.

There has been a lot of change due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are very keen to hear about how the changes to the way we live and how services are run are affecting you and your family.

If you are interested in becoming a Policy Shaper and would like to find out more please email the Mencap policy team at policyshapers@mencap.org.uk.

Email the policy team
""

Be a Policy Shaper

We want to make sure that those making decisions on laws and policies understand people's lived experiences.

If you are someone with a learning disability, a family member or carer, who would like to help us shape policies and laws, then please get in touch.

We work on a wide range of issues from health to social care, as well as employment, and your input shapes what we say to decision-makers.

Want to find out more? Email policyshapers@mencap.org.uk.

If someone is not able to consent to sharing their photos, film or story

If, even with a lot of support, someone is not able to make a decision themselves, then something called a best interests assessments should be carried out to see if sharing their photos/film/story is in their best interests.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says that when someone does not have capacity to make a particular decision for themselves, then any decision made on their behalf must be made in their best interests.

When deciding whether it is in someone's best interests for their photo/video/story to be shared the person making the decision should consider what is known about the person's preferences and involve the person as much as possible. 

It is a good idea to keep a record of your decision making process.

A permission form will still need to be completed, but it can be signed by the person who made the decision (e.g. a family member or supporter).

To carry out a best interests decision you should speak to people who know the person well. You may need so speak to more than one person, depending on the circumstances.

Sometimes speaking with close family may be enough, but you may also wish to speak to:

  • wider family members
  • friends
  • support workers
  • advocates.

When deciding if sharing the photo/video/story is in the person's best interest, you should think of things like:

  • what are the potential advantages and disadvantages to the person?
  • what are the issues that are most relevant to the person?
  • what are their past and present wishes, feeling sand concerns in relation to this decision?
  • what are their values and beliefs (e.g. religious, cultural, moral) in relation to this decision?
  • what do people who know the person well think to be in the persons best interest. You can ask them if they have any information about the person's wishes, feelings, values or beliefs in relation to the matter (e.g. it may be relevant that the person is an extrovert).

Best interests assessment template

You may find it helpful to use the following questions when deciding if a decision is in a person's best interest:

Who is this best interest decision for?

What is the best interests assessment about?

What are the possible options?

What are the advantages and disadvantages to the person?

What do we know about the wishes and feelings of the person?

Who has been consulted and what did they say? 

You could take notes using a table like this:

Name Comments
                                                                                            
                                                                                            

What are the conclusions of this best interests decision and what action will be taken next?

Find out more about our campaigns and consultations

Learning disability and autism training for health and care staff

Find out how Treat Me Well campaigners were involved in securing a commitment from the Government to pilot then roll out training on learning disability and autism for all health and social care staff in England.
Read more about Learning disability and autism training for health and care staff

Current campaigns

Find out what we're campaigning about
Read more about Current campaigns

Campaign locally

Make a change in your local area
Read more about Campaign locally