Learning Disability Coalition survey reveals scale of service cuts

Learning Disability Coalition survey revealed today that one-third of people with learning disabilities have experienced cuts to or increased charges for day time activities.

In a report, based on a survey of almost 700 people with learning disabilities and their carers, the charity coalition claimed a number of councils had failed to offer adequate activities to replace day centres closed during the modernisation programme initiated by Valuing People. It said the same applied to college courses closed because of their lack of quality.

The report said 34% of respondents had had their day centre closed, college courses cut or increased charges for day time activities.

The Learning Disability Coalition also found that 34% had had access to a service to help them find work, but the service was no longer functioning for 17% of this group.

Eligibility criteria also tightened

Carol Boys, chief executive of coalition member the Down’s Syndrome Association, said: “These cuts are in addition to the rationing of care as eligibility criteria are tightened.”

She called on the government to use next year’s green paper on adult care to address shortfalls in funding and services.

The study was conducted from January to March this year. Sixty four per cent of respondents – mostly mothers – said they were filling in a form on behalf of someone with a learning disability. Most of the responses were supplied via the Down’s Syndrome Association.

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