Coronavirus Act: the reply from Helen Whateley, Minister for Care

On 20 March the Representative Body Co Chairs Wendy, Jordan and Scott wrote to the Prime Minister and Matt Hancock.

In their letter they told the Prime Minister about how concerned members are about the Coronavirus Act and the suspension of Care Act duties.

They told the Prime Minister and Matt Hancock about their worries about the negative impact it could have on people with disabilities.

Here is the letter the Rep Body Co Chairs sent

Here is the reply from Helen Whateley, the Minister for Care (dated 10 August).

Read more  “Coronavirus Act: the reply from Helen Whateley, Minister for Care”

Mental Health: Strength over Adversity

Guest blog by Collette, a self advocate who is a qualified Mental Health First Aider.



Hello, I’m Colette;  a self advocate diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder et al.

I’m a qualified Mental Health First Aider.

Covid 19 has challenged everyone with the change in the World as we knew it.  The changes of routines and adjusting to a new ‘normal’ increasing conditions like stress and anxiety.

My favourite quote is Jon Kabat-Zinn: “You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf”.

It tells us that life brings challenges and to build mental strength to overcome obstacles.

How do we do this?

Read more  “Mental Health: Strength over Adversity”

Life under Northern Lockdown

VLOG (video blog) by Gary Bourlet, Membership and Engagement Lead with Roy Hayes, self advocate


In his latest VLOG, Gary looks at the local lockdown measures that are now in place across Greater Manchester and parts of West Yorkshire.

Gary explores what you can and can’t do under local lockdown, and interviews Roy Hayes from Lead the Way self advocacy group in Calderdale to find out what life is really like.

You can watch the VLOG here

In a world where guidance is changing daily, where is the accessible information?

Blog by Gary Bourlet, self advocate and Membership and Engagement Lead for Learning Disability England


Read the easy read version here

Listen to the audio recording here

I think it is quite clear there is a lack of understanding from ministers and government officials about accessible information and the importance of it for so many people.

People with learning disabilities and/or autism need guidance about face coverings, DNR, Covid 19 testing, Shielding, Vaccine etc.

They rely on it just like the rest of us, but often need it in an easy read format.

Read more  “In a world where guidance is changing daily, where is the accessible information?”

Love Care:fully – sexual safety for adults with a learning disability

Sue Sharples has used a Winston Churchill Memorial Fund grant to travel to the USA and Canada to help us all to learn their lessons around preventing abuse and promoting sexual health for people with learning disabilities.

Sue’s research had found that people with a learning disability in England are four times more likely to be sexually abused than other citizens.

Read more  “Love Care:fully – sexual safety for adults with a learning disability”

Accessible Information Campaign

The Accessible Information Campaign is a campaign to make information more accessible for everyone.

They want to press the government to act on its promises about making information accessible.


It is led by self advocate campaigners.

They are worried because there has not been enough accessible information shared by the government, especially during the Covid 19 outbreak.

Read more  “Accessible Information Campaign”

Think Tank Advisory group

Kaliya Franklin is a well known disability rights campaigner who worked for LDE between April 2014 and May 2019.

Kaliya helped to found Learning Disability England.

Kaliya has been asked by IPPR to join their advisory board to help make sure that the work they are doing on social security includes disabled people.

Read more  “Think Tank Advisory group”

‘No furlough breaks, no time to spring clean or bake cakes.’ Life in Lockdown – a Family Carer’s Voice


Blog by Wendy Burt, Representative Body Co Chair – Family and Friends, and Paula Strike


I have 2 amazing sons who both happen to have a learning disability, I have been so thankful during this pandemic that they still live at home with my husband and I, we haven’t had to be separated and unable to see each other as many families who have loved ones in supported living or residential care have found themselves.

The thought of not being able to physically see my sons for 3 months would have been an incredibly difficult challenge for me,  it’s so good to hear that as the lockdown is easing families have been able to spend time with their loved ones again.

Read more  “‘No furlough breaks, no time to spring clean or bake cakes.’ Life in Lockdown – a Family Carer’s Voice”