The big question

    Has Valuing People made any difference to the lives of
    people with learning difficulties?

    Shaun Webster
    CHANGE self-advocacy group

    Valuing People has made no difference to me as I am a parent with
    learning difficulties. I meet other parents like me and they say it
    has made no difference to their lives either. Social services are
    still taking their children away, treat them as though they do not
    grasp anything and fail to provide good support.

    Andy Doherty
    co-chair, National Forum of People with Learning Difficulties

    Organisations have failed to understand it’s about our choices and
    our independence. There are still many things you can’t do, like go
    on holiday, because there are no carers. And direct payments will
    not work until we can employ our own carers directly.

    Karen Shook
    Disability equality adviser

    Valuing People was meant to promote full inclusion of service-
    users in decision-making. Good practice does exist – like enabling
    support on partnership boards – but in general the commitment of
    service providers is patchy. Putting theory into practice is risky
    when you have to change ways of working.

    Becca Cooper
    York People First

    It is three years since the launch of Valuing People. We thought it
    would change our lives. Locally, the people who make decisions
    still aren’t talking to people with learning difficulties. Many of
    us are worried about services closing down and what the future
    holds.ÊPeople with high support needs seem to have few
    choices.

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