Sunday, 27 January 2008

What is involved in getting access: Part 1

Having control

  • Access should be something that is in the control of people with learning disabilities.

  • Access is about having control over your own life. Having your own money, meeting people who make decisions and influence planning. Access is about being involved in meetings about our own lives and having the option to live with friends and not just in single flats.

  • Access is about more than getting into places and getting information. It is about taking control of our lives and being allowed to take risks. Access is about being aware of rights and responsibilities, learning skills, finding good friends and being able to earn money.

  • Access is about choice and independence on our terms, not a support worker's terms.

  • Access is about supporting people with learning disabilities to choose the gender of their support worker. For example, some women do not like being supported by men.

Taking risks and having opportunities

  • Access is about independence. Access is having the opportunity to take risks and make mistakes. Access is not worrying about things like insurance cover and whose fault it might be if things do not work out the way they were planned.

  • We need to encourage “risk taking”. For example, supporting people to spend time alone (independent living).

  • Access cannot happen without both risk and trust.

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