Funded by the Department of Health, the free online Raising our sights guides are aimed at commissioners, families and others who are responsible for supporting or developing services for people with PMLD within their local communities. 

The guides have been developed to help local areas meet the recommendations from Professor Jim Mansell’s Raising our sights report (2010), which looked at services and support for people with PMLD.

Ten guides cover a range of key issues relevant to people PMLD and their families including effective communication, support for families, advocacy, and personalisation. They each give examples of best practice, and have sections to help families and others challenge and campaign where they are not getting the right support. 

In addition, there is also a guide designed specifically for commissioners with practical help and advice on how best to provide services at a local level.  Six short films, also available online, share the stories of individuals with PMLD and bring the guides to life.

The Raising our sights guides were officially launched at the PMLD Network Conference 2013 in Nottingham today.  Speaking at the event, Beverley Dawkins OBE, Policy Manager at Mencap said:

These guides and films will help raise the profile of people with PMLD, and their families.  The stories will inspire families about what is possible in terms of services and support, and the practical information will equip them to ask for this. 

They are an absolute must-read and must-see for people responsible for commissioning services and other health and social care professionals, who are often not aware of how best to support this group of people.

The guides are available at

For further information, please contact the Mencap press office on or 020 7696 5414.

About Mencap

There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.

About the PMLD Network

The PMLD Network is a group of organisation and individuals working together to improve the lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. Visit

What does profound and multiple learning disabilities mean?

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are unique individuals but sometimes it is helpful to talk about groups of people who have common concerns, have distinctive needs, face barriers to being included and 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
  • may have additional sensory or physical disabilities,
  • complex health needs or mental health difficulties
  • may have behaviours that challenge us.