Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives
These are just some of the very positive comments made by delegates that attended Open Forum Events conference that focused on improving the lives of people with learning disabilities. This year’s conference; Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives, will aim to continue the discussions and forward the progress being made in supporting people to take full advantage of life’s opportunities and enabled them to lead fulfilled lives.
Latest figures for 2015 estimate that in England there are 1,087,100 people with learning disabilities, including 930,400 adults, requiring lifelong care, support and protection, to a varying degree, according to the extent of their disabilities. To meet these diverse needs, in 2001 the government launched a new strategy, ‘Valuing People’ which set out ambitious and challenging plans to improve the support and services available to people with learning disabilities based on four key principles: civil rights, independence, choice and inclusion. During the intervening years the aim to transform services has continued with intended improvements in healthcare, employment, education, housing, social services and better support for families and carers.
The Transforming Care programme has sought to move people away from institutionalised accommodation to more community based living, boosted by a recent £10m investment by NHS England to support independent living closer to family and friends. Reducing the health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities is also a key government initiative, as is the desire to close the employment gap between disabled and non-disabled people.
The Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives conference, will introduce to you a comprehensive agenda of expert professionals, contributors and self-advocates, who will guide delegates through a programme of informative and insightful plenary sessions. Examples of best practice and initiatives will be showcased which delegates may feel appropriate to adopt as part of their own support provision. There will be ample opportunity to question, discuss and debate the progress made with improvement, as well as share stories and experiences with the conference to contribute to the wider thinking about supporting better lives.
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