Category Archives: learning difficulties

The basic rights of people with a learning disability are threatened by welfare cuts

‘I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society’ … Brian Rix, president of the Royal Mencap society. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Campaigners fought for more than 60 years so people with a learning disability can make their own choices in life and be part of mainstream society. However, I fear we are about to go backwards on decades of hard-fought victories which secured disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society.

I have seen great strides since the 1950s, when I was advised to “put away and forget” my late daughter, Shelley, who had Down’s syndrome. However, expected £12bn cuts to social security, combined with huge reductions in funding for local government, and therefore social care, are causing fear and anxiety among the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK, and their families.

Learning-disabled people are dying because they receive less good care

Following the Winterbourne View abuse scandal, there’s been a lot of well-intentioned talk but little actual progress in improving the care of vulnerable people

Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in the bath in a specialist NHS inpatient unit in Oxford in 2013

By the time Robin Kitt Callender died, she had endured eight weeks of intermittent vomiting and diarrhoea, and her weight had fallen to five stone. In the four months before she collapsed at her Essex care home, the 53-year-old had visited her GP six times and A&E twice, but her inflammatory bowel disease remained undiagnosed.

Disabled man ‘put up for auction’ on care website

James Knight’s sister, Emma, was shocked to find his details on a website

The family of a man with a learning disability say they are horrified that their local council put him “up for auction” on a care website.

Emma Knight found Devon County Council was inviting companies to bid to look after her 45-year-old brother James.

The website listed other personal details that James’s family say could easily identify him.

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