The legislation and policies that support the human rights and inclusion of individuals with learning disabilities.
1.1Identify legislation and policies that are designed to promote the human rights inclusion equal life chances and citizenship of individuals with learning disabilities?
The Human Rights Act 1998 This act has 18 protocols which explain fundamental human rights. The act makes it unlawful for public bodies to breach the rights that are set out.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 means that people should not be discriminated against when it comes down to work being offered,education,transport and many more. This means that people with disabilities can not be discriminated against.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is designed to protect people who may lack capacity to make some decisions for themselves, and is there to empower wherever possible.
The Mental Health Act 2007 this act is designed for people with a mental health or a learning disability to be treated fairly by employers or professionals too. All companies who deal with people with learning disabilities have policies in place for all health care workers to adhere to so that we protect and give the same opportunities to everyone in the service the same as those out in the society.
1.2-Explain how this legislation and policies influence the day to day experiences of individuals with learning disabilities and their families?
Policies should be based on the social model of disability, aimed at empowering people. People who have learning disabilities are the experts in their own lives and their views are an essential part of any evidence base. Involving people with learning disabilities throughout the process of policy development will bring up any gaps in knowledge and give a indication where the policy needs fine tuning and maybe modernising. This updating of policies can mean the families are seeing a progress in the service and this in turn means the service user is getting the best service possible.
2.1 -Explain what is meant by ‘learning disability’?
Learning disability is when a person’s process to understand or to learn the skill required is maybe impaired or is not there for them to understand. The thought process maybe slower or difficult for them to understand or/and process information. There is three stages of ability/disability these are mild-moderate can talk easily and look after themselves,but take a bit longer to process or learn new skills. Severe people often use basic words and gestures to communicate their needs. They will need a high level of support for more complex tasks. Profound severely limited understanding, often having multiple disabilities.
2.2 Give examples of causes of learning disabilities?
Causes affecting the mother,rubella (German measles) or listeria (food poisoning). These are pre birth (pre natal) and conditions which can affect the birth beforehand. A child can also be born with a disability if certain genes are passed on by a parent. This is called inherited learning disability and the two most common are Fragile x syndrome and Down’s syndrome. Neither syndrome is a learning disability but people with the syndromes are likely to have learning disabilities. During birth if the baby is starved of oxygen then the brain will be affected which may cause learning disabilities. After birth (post natal) a child may get a learning disability from meningitis.
2.3 Describe the medical and social models of disability?
Models of disability provide a framework for understanding the way in which people with impairments experience their disability. The two models are medical and social.
The medical model of disability.
The medical model views the person who has a disability as the problem. This model holds onto beliefs that the person with the disability should fit in with society. The medical model highlights that people who are disabled cannot participate in society because their disability prevents them from doing so.
The social model of disability.
The social model was developed with the input of people who have a disability. Instead of emphasising the disability, the social model centralises the person. It emphasises dignity,independence, choice and privacy. The social model of disability says that disabilities are created by barriers in society. These barriers have three categories :
1.The environment- including inaccessible buildings and services.
2.Attitudes -including prejudice and stereotyping.
3.Organisations – including inflexible policies,practices and procedures.
2.4 -State the approximate proportion of individuals with a learning disability for whom the cause is ‘not known’.
The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD),However, identifies that for 50 per cent of people who have a mild learning disability,no cause has been identified. For people who have severe or profound learning disabilities, no cause has been found for around 25 per cent of them.
2.5 -Describe the possible impact on a family of having a member with a learning disability.
Family members who provide care for people with a disability can suffer from immense emotional and physical strain, and getting a rest from this can be difficult.
The care for a person with learning disabilities is 24 hours and can be impacted by financial,domestic,healthcare,relationship and self-identify these are just some of the strains on a family looking after a person with a learning disability.
3.1 -Explain the types of services that have been provided for individuals with learning disabilities over time?
The first institute for people who was either mad or mentally weak was build in 1834 during the Victorian times this was a place where many people with learning disabilities was put. They was harsh places and they worked people hard and the places became overcrowded. This changed in 1908 when the Radner Commission came in affect and laws passed that encourage institutes to have schools built for ‘mentally disabled’ children, it was suggested that these people was inferior to the rest of society. The Mental Deficiency Act was introduced in 1913 and in 1929 the Wood Committee suggested that such people were a threat to society.In the 1930’s the IQ test was introduced and people was scored and if they was on the low end of the scale then they was categorised as ‘mentally defective’ and unable to learn.Introduction of the NHS in 1946 and the development of the medical model of disability had a impact on the institutions and these was turned into hospitals.Mental Health Act 1959 was introduced and in 1967 newspapers looked into the state of mental hospitals and the appalling conditions thus introducing the papers called ‘better services for the Mentally Handicapped’.Normalisation was introduced in the 1980’s and this was so the government could close down institutions and introduce inclusion for everyone. The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 was brought in to recognise the right of disabled people to be an equal part of the society, with access to the necessary support.
3.2 -Describe how past ways of working may affect present services?
People who have been in the care sector for a number of years may have fallen into the medical model of working and find it hard to adapt to new approaches and practices. Training needs to be modern and current so employees get the best and latest information about the subject that is needed for the best care possible for the service users in the home.
3.3a -Identify some of the key changes in the following areas of the lives of individuals who have learning disabilities – where people live?
There has been major changes in living arrangements for people with learning disabilities, the move to independent living and supported living has made more people maintain independence for as long as they can. Previous living approaches was in institutions.
3.3b -Identify some of the key changes in the following areas of the lives of individuals who have learning disabilities – daytime activities?
The introduction of self directed support which service users are able to make choices about the activities they would like to do and how they would like to do them. This also includes money and who they would like to live with which in turns relates to promoting independence.
3.3c -Identify some of the key changes in the following areas of the lives of individuals who have learning disabilities – employment?
Employment is still hard for people with learning disabilities to get into as the learning process is different, people with learning disabilities tend to work only part time and usually for the minimum wage or voluntary and these positions are jobs in mainly cafés and charity shops. In the home I work in service users are progressing to paid employment or voluntary work within the community.
3.3d -Identify some of the key changes in the following areas of the lives of individuals who have learning disabilities – sexual relationships and parenthood?
In our home we discuss sexual relationships and parenthood a lot and incorporate some scenarios in the talks especially on being pressured into something they do not want to do with someone sexually. We also talk about vulnerability with the service users as they are vulnerable from getting in with the wrong people and maybe doing something they don’t know is wrong or right.
3.3e -Identify some of the key changes in the following areas of the lives of individuals who have learning disabilities – the provision of healthcare?
In the home I work in the service users have the best care possible with annual health check ups and follow up meetings. We also provide psychologists and other professional people within the company. They also have regular dentist appointments and podiatry sessions. The service users are to rely on staff to book these and for the support staff to go through the appointment with them and to communicate with the health professional which is conducting the session and to inform the family afterwards or beforehand.
4.1 -Explain the meaning of the term ‘social inclusion’?
social inclusion to me means where people feel valued, their differences are respected,and their basic needs are met and can live in dignity.
4.2 -Explain the meaning of the term advocacy?
Advocacy means helping service users to say what they want,secure their rights,represent their interests and obtain services that they need.
4.3 -Describe different types of advocacy?
Systemic advocacy these are group advocacies and normally companies or charities.
Informal advocacy these people can be family, neighbours or friends.
Self advocacy is when the service user represents themselves in all or some aspects of their life.
4.4-Describe ways to build empowerment and active participation into everyday support with individuals with learning disabilities?
Educate them on the significance of their diagnosis. Emphasize that “learning disability” does not mean “inability to learn” it may take a little longer to grasp the idea or the subject being studied. Service users should concentrate on their strengths and introduce the subjects they struggle with gradually and in a more easier or relaxed time in learning.
Empowerment should include person centred thinking, this will achieve active participation and recognise a service users right to take part in activities and relationships independently as possible.
5.1 -Explain how attitudes are changing in relation to individuals with learning disabilities?
People with learning disabilities have in the past been shut out by society and placed in institutions and it has only been recently that this has changed. Our service users have access to the same things as I do and this is because society has accepted people with learning disabilities.
5.2 -Give examples of positive and negative aspects of being labelled as having a learning disability?
Negative aspects are that people with learning disabilities get labelled as handicapped and disabled, this is stereotyping them and this in turn means discrimination and prejudice is not good for the service users or their carers. New legislation is in place which is helping to remove the barriers and shake off negative attitudes.
Positive aspects are creating easy to understand information about learning disabilities and what is out there to help people out and what promoting independence is about and why it is important. Labelling is needed to understand the diagnosis and how to move forward and put plans in place to become more independent and put support in place.
5.3 -Describe steps that can be taken to promote positive attitudes towards individuals with learning disabilities and their family carers?
Using the media to show what people with learning disabilities can do and achieve in society. The new training techniques that are out there for both new employees in social care and for people with learning disabilities these are used in colleges around the world.
5.4 -Explain the roles of external agencies and others in changing attitudes policy and practice?
Care Quality Commission is a independent regulator of all Health and Social care services in England. They monitor,inspect and regulates places where care is given to people.It listens to and act on people’s views and experiences of care.It involves people who receive care and the general public in its work, and work in partnership with other organisations and local groups.It challenges all care providers, concentrating mainly on the worst performers.It makes fair and authoritative judgements, supported by the best information and evidence.It takes appropriate action if care services are failing to meet its standards.It carries out in-depth investigations to look at care across the system.It reports on the quality of care services, publishing clear and comprehensive information, including performance ratings to help people choose care.It sets quality and safety standards that people have a right to expect whenever they receive care.It registers care services that meet its standards.It monitors, inspects and regulates care services to make sure they continue to meet its standards.It protects the rights of vulnerable people, including those whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.
6.1a -Identify ways of adapting each of the following when communicating with individuals who have learning disabilities – verbal communication?
Individuals with learning disabilities may experience many types of communication difficulty, but there are also many key things we can do as communicators to facilitate the process and make communication easier. By making subtle and simple changes to our communication we can improve interaction and understanding. Having consistency with the way we talk to people will make it easier to communicate with service users. Language level if an individual has an understanding at a one word level use one word. Long sentences containing lots of information will be wasted. If you use more than one word, back it up with a visual, or a sign or gesture. Be aware and remember to pitch your language at a level that the listener will understand, and give them plenty of time to process the information.
6.1b -Identify ways of adapting each of the following when communicating with individuals who have learning disabilities – non-verbal communication?
When it comes to non verbal communication we have to Adapt if you are not being understood, be flexible, adapt your message. Change the language or simplify the language. Change the mode of communication e.g. from verbal to picture. Give the client other ways to respond switches, sign, gesture etc. Give them more time to process. Change your goals if things are not working.16. Use pictures and visuals – visuals and pictures can work for many individuals with communication difficulties. Visual strategies can be used in a multitude of ways to enhance understanding and expression. They are particularly useful for non-verbal individuals, individuals with learning difficulties and / or those with autism. Assistive Technology / Assistive communication use assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices with a focus on facilitating communication.
6.2 -Explain why it is important to use language that is both ‘age appropriate’ and ‘ability appropriate’ when communicating with individuals with learning disabilities?
When communicating with people who have a learning disability, it is essential that the communication takes place at a pace and in a manner that the individual can process.This means that the information should be both ‘age appropriate’ and ‘ability appropriate’.communication must also take into account the person as a whole and sensitive consideration should be given to the persons cultural and religious beliefs.
6.3 -Describe ways of checking whether an individual has understood a communication and how to address any misunderstandings?
Knowledge of the service users and the way they respond is key to making sure they understand what is being communicated. They may give you signs like thumbs up or down, verbal comment and some may not say anything at all. This varies from person to person.