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Journal article

On your bike

Author:
DARWENT Jenny
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 131, November/December 2012, pp.20-21.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

The Green Bike Project provides a bicycle recycling and repair service and also gives work experience to people with learning disabilities. The service is operated by one full-time member of staff and between two and four people with learning disabilities. It is one of activities organised by the charity Genesis Orwell Mencap in Ipswich. Some of the staff explain benefits of the project. (Original abstract)

Journal article

The important things in life

Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 131, November/December 2012, pp.14-17.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Decisions made on behalf of people with a learning disability and their families are often made without any input from the people they affect the most. Mencap's 'Listen and Learn' consultation programme was developed to find what is important to people with learning disabilities. The consultation used surveys, focus groups and interviews with people with learning disabilities, their family members or carers, Mencap members of staff and leaders of local Mencap groups. The results of the consultation are briefly discussed under the following themes: early years and childhood; making decisions about where to live, jobs and money; support for the whole family; healthcare; participation; staying safe; and relationships. Mencap intend to use the results to inform its work and planning over the next five years. (Original abstract)

Journal article

Managing money

Author:
FAWCETT Edd
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 127, May 2012, pp.14-17.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Traditionally, people with a learning disability have faced barriers to taking control of their own money. Issues around perceived lack of capability, financial jargon, appropriate identification and fear of financial abuse and debt have all prevented vulnerable people from opening even a basic bank account. However the banking system is said to be becoming more aware of these issues and beginning to address them. This article describes the progress being made.

Journal article

Breaking bad news

Author:
DARWENT Jenny
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 127, March 2012, pp.18-21.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Dealing with death and bereavement is difficult for everyone but especially so for people with a learning disability. Communication is often obscured by euphemism and historically few people with learning difficulties have been involved in conversations about death. If, as they often did, they lived in long term care visits simply stopped. More recently bereavement in people with a learning disability has been widely researched and links between changed behaviour and grief recognised. Families can sometimes exacerbate the problem by trying to protect the person from feeling sad, meaning emotions are suppressed. Researchers at St George’s Hospital In London have developed a set of guidelines for breaking bad news of all kinds. Key points include: if someone doesn’t want to know something, don’t tell them; breaking bad news is a process, not an event, information should be given in small chunks at the person’s own pace; discover how much is already known and build on that; and whenever possible ensure that the bad news is broken by someone the person knows, involving health professionals for further explanation as necessary. Links to a number of bereavement resources are provided.

Journal article

Family focus

Author:
DARWENT Jenny
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 124, September 2011, pp.16-19.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Using case examples this article looks at the challenges faced by parents and families bringing up a child with a learning disability. It discusses the complex issues involved and the support for families offered by Mencap. It presents the stories of 4 parents who care for sons or daughters (children and adults) with a learning disability such as Down's syndrome, severe learning disability, cerebral palsy, and profound and multiple learning disabilities. It notes that Parents' Week, which raises awareness of the issues that parents face, will take place in October.

Journal article

Involve Me

Author:
-
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 124, September 2011, pp.20-21.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Involve Me is a 3-year project on increasing the involvement of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) in decision-making, through supporting people to make personal decisions and influencing decision-makers. It looked at decision-making at 4 levels: personal decisions in everyday life, decisions about the immediate environment (such as in a group home), community decisions and national decisions. The findings of the Mencap and British Institute of Learning Disabilities project have been used to produce recommendations and resources for those involved with services for people with PMLD, including a practical guide to involving people with PMLD. This article describes the project and its key activities (including sharing stories, creative communication, multimedia advocacy and peer advocacy) and key messages. It includes a brief case study.

Journal article

Hearing older voices

Author:
SOUTHGATE Jaki
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 126, January 2012, pp.22-23.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Older Voices, is a three year project funded by Comic Relief that is working with 17 people with a learning disability over the age of 50. The project is running a series of workshops to make the older people aware of their rights to services and give them the confidence and skills to change things, such as discrimination. This article provides a brief overview of the project which is being run by Mencap Wales.

Journal article

All aboard

Author:
DARWENT Jenny
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 126, January 2012, pp.16-19.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Accessible transport is vital for people with a learning disability to live an independent life. Some of the challenges of getting out and about are discussed. Examples of good practice are also highlighted, including a travel mentoring service provided by Leeds Mencap.

Journal article

An inspiring project

Author:
-
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 125, November 2011, pp.24-25.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Briefly describes the Inspire Me project, run by Mencap and ENABLE Scotland, which is helping young people with a learning disability through the difficult transition to adulthood. The project focuses on young people aged 16 to 25, and uses six workshops on volunteering, preparation for the world of work, managing my money, action planning and goal setting, citizenship and community, and motivation and confidence to help young people.

Journal article

Technical support

Author:
FAWCETT Edd
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, 125, November 2011, pp.20-23.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

Using technology to support people with a learning disability traditionally involved expensive pieces of specialist equipment. This article looks at the potential for using mainstream technology such as smartphones, Nindendo Wii and Xbox Kinect to help people with a learning disability to communicate, learn and socialise. Research at Nottingham Trent University which examined how computer games could help people with learning disabilities, and Mencap's LiveNet project which teaches people with a learning disability how to use mainstream technology are briefly mentioned.

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