TIME TO mark learning disability week, writes James Fletcher
This week marks learning disability week. This is a welcome opportunity for people and organisations join together to recognise the many achievements of people with learning disabilities in Scotland.
This year’s theme is Celebrating Success and a whole host of events and campaigns are planned to raise awareness, share information and celebrate achievements.
A notable example of this success is the ‘Charter for Involvement’. This is unique in Scotland as it written by people with learning disabilities, setting out in their own words how they want to be involved in the support services they use and their communities. The Charter has twelve statements that show what matters to people most and how they want to live their lives.
Since it was published last January, 29 support organisations of all sizes have signed up to the Charter and more join every month.
By doing so, they are making a formal commitment to work with the people they support to put it into practice. We know this is already helping people who receive support.
At the Association for Real Change (ARC Scotland) we firmly believe that people with learning disabilities should be involved in how their support organisations are planned and run- and that doing this helps make those services better.
With support from the Scottish Government, we support a group of over 80 people who use different social care organisations across Scotland called the National Involvement Network (NIN).
Members of the NIN worked together over the last few years to produce the Charter for Involvement and now aim to have 100 organisations signed up to it over the next two years.
• James Fletcher is director of ARC Scotland