How to be learning disability friendly

November 03 2014

PEOPLE with learning disabilities feel safe in Bishopston, but feel vulnerable going out at night on Gloucester Road without staff support, a recent survey has revealed.

PEOPLE with learning disabilities feel safe in Bishopston, but feel vulnerable going out at night on Gloucester Road without staff support, a recent survey has revealed.
None of the residents surveyed are in local employment, despite possessing skills such as sociability and reliability. They say they would like to have a job.
The small-scale pilot study, carried out by public health specialist Lesley Russ, set out to discover learning disability residents' perceptions about Bishopston, and how the local area can be more accommodating.
According to Lesley, Bishopston has a high proportion of people with learning disabilities, because of the large and good quality housing stock, which care providers often purchase for delivering specialist care.
In seeking residents with learning disabilities in Bishopston, Lesley contacted an information analyst in health and social care at Bristol City Council.
Data revealed that there were 31 residents with learning disabilities in the area - four lived privately, and 27 were supported by six different housing or supported care providers.
Care providers were then contacted to support their residents with filling out the surveys.
Thirteen residents responded in total.
The survey revealed that more traffic calming measures would be welcomed in the area, and they would like local bars to be more accepting.
Residents reported being aware of vital telephone numbers, such as the police, but were unlikely to report an issue due to lacking confidence and telephone skills.
Local shops and health centres are being used on a regular basis, with some residents belonging to churches in the area.
However, they would like to be involved in more local activities, such as music and art clubs, and would like more information events to be held, such as health awareness days.
Residents also expressed an interest in being involved in the local neighbourhood partnership.
Lesley said: "I launched this study to figure out ways in which we can consult and engage more with people who have learning disabilities.
"Discrimination is particularly prevalent for people with learning disabilities, so it's important for the local community to reach out more, and to make the neighbourhood partnership more learning disability friendly."