Sunday, 27 January 2008

What kind of access to people with learning disabilities want? Part 2

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Access that is about give and take

  • Access is a two-way process, where people can access each other.

  • People want access to friendships where there is autonomy (freedom to choose); quality (being like others); reciprocity (give and take) and intimacy (physical and emotional closeness).

Access that is permanent or long-term

"We have to keep at it all the time. If we’ve got it wrong for people with learning disabilities we have got it wrong for an awful lot of other people as well.” [Duncan Mitchell]

  • It can be easy for access to happen once, but it is hard to make it happen again and again.

  • Getting work experience or starting jobs that never last more than a few weeks feels like a false-start. Sometimes jobs come to an end and we don’t know why.

  • Access is greatly helped by projects that can show what is possible with proper support. But when the money for these projects runs out it can stop good practice being spread and shared.

  • Access is not something that happens and is finished. Access needs to be worked at all the time.

  • People with learning disabilities want access to be something that is permanent (forever) and not just for a short time. They don’t want access to be a one-off, once only effort.

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