Right to choose is too often denied

People with learning difficulties are often denied choice in even
the most basic areas of their lives, Mark Brookes, project worker
with the UK charity Values into Action, told a conference session
on self-determination.

He said a survey of more than 200 people with learning difficulties
by his organisation found that, although expectations were
generally very low, even the most modest aspirations were seldom

“For instance, we found that in Scotland people moving out of
long-stay hospitals were not given a choice over where they

He added that people living on their own seemed to have more
choice, pointing out that even “those staying with their families
often have to ask if they can go out. They feel trapped.”

A number of those surveyed felt let down by professionals who
promised to do things but then did not do them.

Brookes said:”We also found that people wanted to be part of the
community but then they were forced into segregated services,” he
said, adding “The most important thing to remember is that it’s
your life and you have the right to make your own decisions.”

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