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ERIC Number: ED506610
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-906162-32-0
Connecting People: The Steps to Making it Happen
Wightman, Clare
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (NJ1)
People with higher support needs have been the last to benefit from the transformation of services for people with learning disabilities in the last few years. Despite often requiring expensive packages of support, this group are frequently offered services which are outdated and delivered in congregate, buildings-based and segregated settings. We are often told that segregated services are the "best" or only option for them and we hear many excuses why they cannot be more included in their communities. Almost a decade into the twenty-first century and eight years on from Valuing People, it is scandalous that this group of people are effectively treated as second-class citizens. Despite the numerous books, DVD's, powerpoint presentations and training manuals about "community capacity building," we are still asked "how can we make it happen?" The Life In The Community project has been all about finding answers to this question. The experiences of four organisations helped to understand the barriers they face in building a community life for people with high support needs. They assisted in exploring what makes things happen, what good support looks like and how people without specialist skills, knowledge or experience of learning disability have an important role to play in helping people achieve their ambitions. Above all, the project reinforced that "community" is founded upon relationships rather than a place or an activity. One of the necessary messages that commissioners and care managers should know is that "community connectors" played a vital role in people achieving those good outcomes. If the project has demonstrated that people with learning disabilities and high support needs can have better lives in the community, this book provides some ideas about how to make it happen. These tips include: (1) Know what community connecting looks like; (2) Getting to know someone; (3) Use gifts and passions; (4) Find out what's out there; (5) Use members of the community as your guides; (6) Use community groups; (7) Use your agency; (8) Build a circle of friends/support around someone; (9) Use third places; and (10) Be positive. (Contains a list of publications and websites. Also contains a DVD that accompanies the guidelines ito illustrate how some people with higher support needs have been helped to play a role in their communities.) [Financial support was provided by The Baily Thomas Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation.]
Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities. Sea Containers House 20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9QB, UK. Tel: +44-20-7803-1100; Fax: +44-20-7803-1111; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Non-Print Media
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom