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- What you’ll find in the pictures
- Books that may be useful
- Accessing Services – what you need to know
Ways of accessing services: referral, self-referral, invitations;
Accessing specific services: housing, banking, leisure, health care, mental health care, health screening, police, victim services, social care;
Facilitating access: special measures for victims, communication tools, preparatory visits.
Different types of services are accessed in different ways. For instance, screening services such as breast screening and cervical screening send out letters to invite people to make appointments. Other services – particularly victim support, mental health and social care services – can require that people are referred to them. There are many more services that you can refer yourself to directly, including leisure, police, banking and primary health care services. Knowing the best way to access a service can be the first hurdle to overcome.
Accessing the right support services can be a challenge for people with learning disabilities and their families. Mainstream services can sometimes be poorly equipped to deal with people with additional or complex needs. It is, however, against the law to discriminate against anybody because of their disability and people with learning disabilities and their families are entitled to equal access to good quality services.
The Equality Act 2010 (www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents) states that services now have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities so that they are not at a disadvantage. There are many different types of reasonable adjustments that a service can make to ensure that people with learning disabilities are not excluded or unfairly discriminated against. Adjustments can include – but are not limited to – providing information in an accessible format, using tools to assist communication, accommodating preparatory visits and affording special measures to victims in court.
Our books help a wide range of people who understand pictures better than words, but their main audience is people with a learning disability, also known as an intellectual or developmental disability in other parts of the world.
This is a lifelong disability that may affect thinking, learning, emotional (adaptive) functioning and independent living skills. This sort of disability is distinct from a specific processing impairment, like dyslexia or attention deficit disorder. In the UK these impairments are typically referred to as “learning difficulties”, but this term is also preferred by some people with developmental disability, so the meaning is becoming blurred as people self-define.
As well as the primary audience, the books are often useful to people with low levels of literacy or specific processing impairment (“learning difficulties”, as per the traditional definition above), as well as people with sensory disabilities, other communication disorders (e.g. associated with dementia), and second language users.
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