Independent Advocacy and Learning Disability
Independent advocacy is a way to help you to make your voice stronger and to have as much control as possible over your own life. Advocacy Workers do not make decisions on your behalf and they will not put words in your mouth. Independent Advocacy will help you get the information you need to make good choices, and give you the help you need to express yourself clearly.
Independent Advocacy can support someone with a learning disability through many processes, like Community Care Assessment and Care Planning, accessing Self-Directed Support, maximising Benefits and other financial arrangements. We can also support you to arrange suitable care and support and to plan for the future.
Ceartas Advocacy Workers have a wide range of skills and abilities, including the supported communication and graphic recording skills they may need to work constructively and successfully with someone with a learning disability.
A Learning Disability affects the way a person learns new information or skills across the whole of their life, not just literacy or numeracy. Learning Disability is a broad category which includes people with a number of different underlying issues like Down’s Syndrome, some Autistic Spectrum Disorders, and people with brain damage sustained at or before birth (which are not categorised as Acquired Brain Injuries). Many people prefer the term ‘Learning Difficulty’, although in the terminology of education and medicine that term can also include issues like dyslexia, which is not a global Learning Disability.
An estimated 2% of the population, about 1.5 million people, are affected in some way by a Learning Disability. Approximately 80-85% of those are mild or moderate Learning Disabilities, and 15-20% of those are severe or profound Learning Disabilities. Learning Disabilites are lifelong conditions, and the issues that people face will require support throughout their lifetimes.
Other Support for Learning Disabilities
There are a large number of support organisations for people with Learning Disabilities:
Quarriers offers a wide range of residential and support services for people with a learning disability.
The Mungo Foundation supports adults with Learning Disabilities in East Dunbartonshire.
Key Housing is a registered social landlord who specialise in housing people with learning disabilities.
Real Life Options is a charity which aims to provide support and services as equal partners with its service users.
The Richmond Fellowship offers a wide range of support, from day support in people’s own homes through to 24-hour residential care in purpose-built accommodation.
Outlook is a service provided by East Dunbartonshire Council to people with learning disabilities in the community.