The big question

    Shaun Webster
    CHANGE self-advocacy group

    It’s a disaster for people with learning difficulties. It takes
    away the independence we got from Valuing People and gives the
    power to our parents, social workers and health professionals. It
    will take people with learning difficulties back to square one. If
    you have no advocate you will have no support.

    Joan Scott
    Action Unlimited

    With this bill the government is refusing to pay for independent
    advocates. But that is who you need to explain all the options and
    encourage you to try things and sometimes take risks. Family and
    friends hardly ever do that and they tend to be biased and think
    they know best.

    Peggy Hatcher
    Volunteer advocate

    I’m worried about the plans to deny advocacy support to those with
    friends and relatives on hand. I’m an advocate myself and I find
    that families tend to take over and don’t always do what the
    vulnerable person wants. If the government is worried about costs
    it could make more use of volunteer advocates like me.

    Jean Stogton
    Grandparents Plus

    Some professionals tend to stereotype people who lack capacity –
    whether it’s those with Alzheimer’s or with learning difficulties.
    That’s why helping them to make their own decisions – and
    enshrining that right in law – is so important. The tricky bit,
    though, is trying to get the support to make it happen.

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