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

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