Louise has a progress update, and it is good news…
Hello, I am delighted to be writing with good news about our recent work.
By now you probably know that we have an aspirational vision of a country where adults with learning disabilities have choice about where and how they live and our first step towards this is to create an accessible and engaging toolkit. The toolkit starts by taking us back to basics and finding out what people actually want. It will empower young adults with learning disabilities to self-discover and express their wishes with regard to where and how they live. It will offer easy to use signposting advice and suggestions about the options.
Firstly though we wanted to prove the concept for this toolkit. Whilst it goes without saying that our focus is on the benefits for people with learning disabilities, we recognise and value the important supporting role that families, friends, and professionals play. Therefore, it is important that the toolkit will also help all connected people to fulfil their objectives.
With advice and feedback from all beneficiary groups we set about creating the first draft of the toolkit for proof-of-concept trials.
Now to the good news…. the trial has concluded, and we have some very useful findings; I am delighted to share some of the highlights and give an overview of our next steps.
- Feedback was unanimously positive in terms of the need for such an innovative tool, which is person centred and has the potential to capture the real voices of people with learning disabilities.
- The gamification aspect was appreciated and could be explored further.
- The content, as a first phase, was deemed appropriate.
- Feedback with regard to the communication approaches was mixed – It seems the best outcome would be to enable users to choose their preferred approach e.g. symbols, photographs, video, icons.
- Users and support people (parents, teachers, carers etc.) found it easy to use, albeit some expressed the guidance was too lengthy.
- There is interest from users aged under 18 years and over 35 years.
- The registration process needs refinement.
- It was clear that there is a difference in the way that family members and professionals help the user and this needs to be celebrated and reflected in the guidance.
- There seems to be a good understanding of the benefits of the data that will become available over time.
We have some changes to make so we are starting the process of reviewing the business plan to include the proof-of-concept findings and to provide greater detail about the three phased approach to the delivery of the full toolkit. We will very soon be able to share the detail of the costs for phase 1 and will be making funding approaches.
We are proud of the progress we have made with valuable input from people with learning disabilities, families, and professionals across England and thank all for making this possible.
We have also had interest from Wales. As a result, we are exploring a version of the toolkit for Wales, with signposting appropriate to the differences in the Welsh system. This would also include the option of using the Welsh language which will add a further level of accessibility.
If you would like to get involved or have contacts who would be interested, please get in touch and as always… spread the word … #strongertogether #voiceandchoice #learningdisabilities