LDE webinar: “It’s MY Life” – Self-Advocacy for people with Learning Disabilities 

10.00 – 11.00, 22nd June 2018

We all know that people with learning disabilities should be more involved in planning the services they use; they should have the right to speak up for themselves and be involved in making decisions that affect them. But how do we ensure that their voices are heard?

The purpose of this webinar is to share ideas and discuss the importance of self-advocacy. We will focus on how people with learning disabilities are supported to get their voices heard, feel respected and get the best outcomes. We will give an overview of the tools and opportunities we have adopted and how self-advocacy training has empowered people with a learning disability to speak up for themselves. This webinar will be co-led by SPICE Self-Advocates Daniel and Maz who will share their stories and inspire others.

This webinar will be useful to self advocates, service providers, commissioners, parents, carers and anyone else who is committed to supporting self-advocacy.



Presented by:

Daniel Docherty is a self-advocate and founding member of SPICE. He has over 25 years’ experience of setting up self-advocacy groups including Manchester People First. He delivers training to professionals, social work students, and to other people with learning disabilities. He works hard to advocate for people with learning disabilities to have the same rights as everyone else.

Maz Tweedy is a self-advocate and member of SPICE. She uses her personal experiences and first-hand knowledge to make a positive difference and inspire change. She provides training, is part of a quality checking group and sits on several learning disability groups throughout Greater Manchester.

Kim Barrett is the Personalisation Lead at Future Directions CIC. She works closely with individuals, families and support teams to enable people to reach their dreams, wishes and aspirations.  She drives all aspects of the personalisation agenda forward and delivers self-advocacy training.

Jenny Neville is a Project Manager who works closely with SPICE which is a self-advocacy group made up of people supported by Future Directions CIC.  She supports SPICE to develop their skills and confidence. She empowers them to campaign for greater rights, choice and control and to have a voice, challenge stereotypes and make a positive difference to the lives of all people with learning disabilities.

The LGA and ADASS are asking for the views of people who with learning disabilities and their families.

The Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) are writing some guidance and want to hear from people with a learning disability, autism or both and family carers.

This is part of the Transforming Care work.

The guidance is to help make sure that people with a learning disability, autism or both who display behaviour that challenges get good quality care and support in the community.

They want the guidance to:

• Help commissioners and providers work together as partners.

• Help commissioners to make sure they are working with providers that have the right values and skills.

• Help commissioners to make sure good providers are available to people in their local area so that people don’t have to live a long way from family and friends.

• Help commissioners to know what good services and good quality care and support providers look like.

Here is the information with some questions for you to answer.

Questions_feedback on toolkit

SeeAbility has supported over 1,200 special school children across England

SeeAbility has supported over 1,200 special school children across England, providing adjusted eye tests and collecting data. It’s the biggest global study actively reporting on the eye care needs of children with learning disabilities.

Of the children using the SeeAbility service over a four academic year period we have found, with the help of Dr Maggie Woodhouse’s support in analysing our data that:

  • Nearly half (47.5%) had a problem with their vision.
  • A third (31.7%) needed glasses.
  • Over four in ten (43.7%) had no history of any eye care.
  • Only 7% had ever used a community optician.

Of those children with a sight problem more than a quarter (28%) had a problem that was previously unknown to school or their parents

We are calling on NHS England to make wide reforms to community eye care for children and adults with learning disabilities and introduce adjusted eye tests in special schools.

We’re using the hashtag #EqualRightToSight on our social media platforms.

Click here for more information about our report

We have a ‘top tips’ bit on the website too to help direct people on getting better eye care information eg. easy read. Especially as parents may struggle to know where to go and get their child’s sight tested, and we also happy to write little pieces of advice for newsletters etc.

Also if anyone, individuals, organisations, wants to sign up to pledge your support on eye care reforms so we can keep ensuring NHS England know there remains real concern over lack of their action on this issue they can also do this on this link too.