Learning Disability Today
Wednesday 08 December 2010
Mencap and Minister for Care Services lead the debate at Learning Disability Today
Speaking at the conference at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, he outlined the progress that has been made over the past 18 months. He cited improvements such as more people having annual health checks, increasing numbers moving into their own homes from residential campuses and successes in people finding jobs through Project Search, Getting a Life and Jobs First.
However, Mr Burstow pointed out that there was more to be done. He said that we have to do more to "extend choice and control" for people with a learning disability and increase the number of people on personal budgets – the "catalyst for change". Across all areas, they can "unlock opportunities", "reduce bureaucracy and deliver better outcomes for individuals".
Throughout the day, Mencap carried on the debate on the issues faced by people with a learning disability. Mencap gave visitors the chance to give their views on a range of subjects – from the cuts to healthcare and future aspirations – by posting notes on a board. Experts were also on hand to offer information and advice. This was all tied in with Mencap's new website, Talk Learning Disability, which offers visitors an online forum, where they can share their issues.
Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive, was on the panel for a discussion on the government's cuts announced in the comprehensive spending review. Plus, Mencap's head of campaigns David Congdon chaired a seminar on personalisation, while Mark McGoogan, Mencap's housing lead, spoke on housing options. There were also seminars on updates on healthcare, getting people with a learning disability into work, personalised technology and relationships.
Attended by over 3,000 people, Learning Disability Today is an exhibition and conference that brings together public, private and not-for-profit organisations, as well as individuals and families.
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Share your views on learning disability issues at Mencap's new Talk Learning Disability website