Supporting adults with a learning disability to have better lives framework: Easy Read text

This summary will help people understand what the supporting adults with a learning disability framework is and how it works. 


About this summary

This summary will help people understand what the supporting adults with a learning disability framework is and how it works. The framework will be used by people at local councils to look at services for:

  • Adults with a learning disability including people with a learning disability and autism.
  • Young people with a learning disability preparing for adult life.

This framework does NOT cover autistic people without a learning disability. This is because we know people with a learning disability and autistic people have different needs.

We have tried to make this easy to read. The words in purple are ones we think need explaining.

We have a list at the back of this booklet that explains what purple words or phrases mean

Introduction

Over one million people aged 15 to 64 in England have a learning disability. Learning Disability is a lifelong condition and people’s needs change over time.

People with a learning disability can get new skills and confidence that open up new life opportunities with the right support.

People with a learning disability experience more inequality compared to everyone else.

Sometimes people with a learning disability may get treated differently and don’t get the same chances.

People with a learning disability may have:

  • More health problems
  • Local services that do not meet their needs
  • Not enough money or no job

Because of this, they may have a poorer quality of life.

We want to make sure adults with a learning disability have better lives.

The framework helps adults with a learning disability and their family carers to live:

  • A safe life
  • A valued life
  • A happy life

The Equality Act 2010 is important to people with a learning disability. It says we need to make sure we make reasonable adjustments’.

This means people with a learning disability can only be treated differently if it makes their lives better.

Creating this framework

This framework was led by an ADASS/LGA Steering Group.

This Steering Group led work to improve how adults with a learning disability are supported by councils and their partners.

The Steering Group had a vision for how adults will be supported to live the way they want to.

The vision has six areas that all connect with each other.

1. Inclusion

Support people with a learning disability to have good lives in their communities and to be treated with respect.

2. Equal access

Have the same chances and access to services as everybody else. For example, being able to go to social and leisure opportunities or have access to housing, jobs, health, and transport.

3. Person-centred planning and support

Care and support plans are based on the person's strengths and needs and involves people, families and carers.

4. Safeguarding

Be safe in communities and free from the risk of discrimination, hate crime and abuse.

5. Sustainable models of support

Making sure support is right and lasts as long as it's needed.

6. Progression 

People with all disabilities have the potential to live life the way they want and get new skills.

The framework should support services to include everyone, be person-centred, safe, long-lasting and give people the same chances as everyone else.

What is this framework?

The aims of the supporting adults with a learning disability to have better lives framework is to help local councils to:

  • Find out how they can improve support to adults with a learning disability
  • Make sure that the care and support in their area is right for adults with a learning disability
  • Make sure that the care and support in their area is good value for money

Councils and their partners should work with adults with a learning disability, their families and carers when looking at services for them. This makes sure the services are right for the people who use them.

How will this framework work?

There are three steps councils need to take to use the framework.

1. Councils self-evaluate their support for adults with a learning disability using the framework.

We have created surveys and templates to help councils in carrying out a self-evaluation. This helps councils to find out what is working and what needs to be better.

2. Do a more detailed self-evaluation of areas that need to be better.

Councils will then come up with plans to make things better by working with a lot of different people.

Services should always be co-produced with:

  • People with a learning disability
  • Families and carers
  • Advocates
  • Health and social care professionals

These plans should include reasonable adjustments and be about inclusion.

3. Councils will then carry out the plans to make things better and see if it works well.

Councils need to find out about the good practice the framework shares. Within this framework councils can check what other councils are doing to help them get better.

The framework also has other useful resources too for councils and people to use. By using everything in the framework, it helps councils know how to make services the best they can be.

Summary of this framework

After your local council has done their self-evaluation, they can look at six areas called domains in more detail.

The six areas are:

1. Councils should provide good leadership and make sure that services are run well.

This is important because it helps to make the service and the people who use the service feel supported and valued. The best councils develop and agree a shared vision with people with a learning disability of how they can be best supported to live the lives they want.

The best councils co-produce new ways to make the lives of adults with a learning disability better by working with lots of different people and organisations.

2. Councils should have a good understanding of what support adults with a learning disability need now and in the future.

Councils should co-produce with people and the community to provide the right support to adults with a learning disability.

3. Councils should set up a care and support system that supports adults with a learning disability to have a good quality of life.

The Care Act 2014 says councils must promote the wellbeing of adults with care and support needs and carers in their area. Learning Disability is a lifelong condition and people’s needs change over time.

People with a learning disability can get new skills and confidence that open up new life opportunities with the right support. Councils must make sure you get the right support to live the way you want to.

Examples of services councils must provide or arrange to look after the wellbeing of people with a learning disability include:

  • Provide information and advice
  • Safeguard adults at risk of abuse or neglect
  • Support young people to prepare for adult life

4. Councils should make sure staff who support adults with a learning disability are trained to meet their needs.

It is important that councils work closely with health and social care providers.

This is to make sure providers have enough staff to meet the different care and support needs of adults with a learning disability in their area. Councils should encourage, train and support staff and people who buy services to be the best they can be.

5. Councils should support adults with a learning disability to stay safe.

The Care Act 2014 places a responsibility on councils to protect people who are at risk from abuse or neglect.

 It is important for local services to work together to find people who are at risk, and to take steps to protect them. 

This is sometimes called safeguarding.

Councils also need to work with adults with a learning disability to take reasonable risks.

Adults with a learning disability should have choice and control over their lives and be as independent as they can be.

Councils should make sure that they have the staff, money, and ways of working in place to make people’s lives better.

Councils need to make sure money spent on care and support is spent well and meets the needs of people with a learning disability

Purple words glossary

Abuse

Harm that is caused by anyone who has power over another person. This could be family members, friends, unpaid carers and health or social care workers.

Association of Directors of Adult Services (ADASS)

A charity which is the voice of Directors of Social Services.

Care Act 2014

A law in England that sets out what care and support people should get and what local councils have to do.

Co-produce

Organisations and people working together to make services better.

Discrimination

Treating a person, or a group of people, unfairly to other people because of their disability, age, race, or other things.

Domains

In this framework, ‘domains’ are areas of work that the council does that need to improve.

Equal access

Making sure that no-one is left out or worse off.

Framework

A guide to help councils check how to build better services for people.

Hate crime

Hate crime is when someone does something to hurt someone because of who they are, such as because of their race, sexuality, or disability.

Inclusion

Meeting the needs of everyone in a community by taking action to make sure everyone feels comfortable, well treated, and able to live the way they want to.

Independent

Being in charge of your life and making the decisions on what happens.  You might have support to do that.

Inequality

Unfair and preventable differences in your life.

LGA

The Local Government Association is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support them to improve.

Neglect

When you are mistreated by not being given the care and support you need if you are unable to care for yourself.

Partners

A relationship between two or more organisations. An example is the NHS and councils working together to make services better.

Person-centred planning

Care and support is based around you and your own needs and what you think matters.

Progression

Changing your life for the better over time.

Providers

Organisations that provides services, such as care and support services.

Reasonable Adjustments

Changes that public services, buildings and employers have to make to make it possible for people with disabilities to use a service or do a job.

Safeguarding

Making sure that adults at risk are not being abused or neglected, and that anyone who might harm people do not work with them.

Self-evaluation

A form or questionnaire that a council can complete, either on paper or online to check how good local care and support is.

Sustainable models of support

A way of providing care based on what is right and works best for people that will last and is properly funded.

System

A way of planning services to make sure that health and social care services work together and can meet people’s needs at the right time.

Valued

People are appreciated and respected and how they think and feel and what they want is listened to by other people.

Wellbeing

The feeling of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

For more information

If you want to learn more about this work, 

Email: chip@local.gov.uk

This document was made in co-production with Local Government Association and our partners.

Visit our website: www.local.gov.uk

E-mail: chip@local.gov.uk