A publication giving advice on pregnancy and birth to parents with learning disabilities is being launched next week as part of an ongoing equal rights campaign.
Learning disability charity Change said that the book, My Pregnancy My Choices, was needed due to a lack of clear and accessible information for parents with learning disabilities.
The book is written in easy-to-understand language and contains more than 500 illustrations. The content was guided by paid project workers who have learning disabilities themselves, who also consulted a steering group of parents with learning disabilities.
Equal rights campaign
Change developed the publication as part of a campaign to promote equal rights for parents with learning disabilities to have and keep their children. Project manager Karen Harris said that new parents often risked having their children removed due to a lack of support and accessible information about their situation.
She added: “Out of the parents we’ve worked with, a lot more don’t have their children than do have them. Or you might find they had their first children taken away and now because things are beginning to shift, they might receive enough support to keep their most recent child.
“There are also a lot of parents who miss out on services as they’re just off the mark by which they would be classed as somebody who has a learning disability. Consequently they’re not eligible for any kind of support.”
Valuing People Now
The Valuing People Now three-year strategy for people with learning disabilities, launched last month by the Department of Health, highlighted the fact that parents with learning disabilities were at a disproportionate risk of losing their children into care because it was often difficult for them to access information and appropriate support.
The strategy commits the DH to develop advocacy services to support parents with a learning disability.