Life’s Getting Harder – Let’s Make It Better

Created on 9 October 2014

The Learning Disability Alliance Scotland is pleased to announce its major new conference on the crisis that many people with learning disabilities are experiencing in care, support and managing the cost of living.   We would be grateful if you could share this information with members and service users that you know so they can make the choice to come to the conference.

The day is a chance for people with learning disabilities and their families to look at the challenges in their lives that is making life hard.   From changes to eligibility criteria to get social care to the rise in charges for getting support and help, we will look at the different things that make life difficult.   We will look for what we can do to find some answers to these challenges

The conference will be mostly for people with learning disabilities from all over Scotland.  There will be some carers and parents of people with more profound disabilities there too.   We will also be inviting a small number of politicians, officials and professional staff so they can hear more about what people are saying and can help us in finding some solutions.

It will start at 10am on Monday 2nd March 2015 and go on till about 4pm.   It will be in the centre of Glasgow, at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Brunswick Street, not far from the train and bus stations.

We will start with a speech from Caroline Gray, Secretary of the Learning Disability Alliance Scotland and a speech from Michael Matheson, the government minister who helps people with learning disabilities.    There will be then 4 workshops on some of the different problems that people with learning disabilities have to face.  Everyone will get a chance to talk about these and what can be done about them.

  1. Having Enough Money to Live On.
  2. Getting a Service,
  3. Making Real Choices,
  4. Quality Or Quantity,

The workshops will use drama, music and art to report back before lunch.   Everyone will get a choice of a second workshop in the afternoon after lunch.  These will be more focussed on finding things we can do to make things better in each of the different areas.

There will be a final session for everyone to get together and to share what they have been doing and what we could all do to Make Life Better for everyone.    For more information or to book use email us  or phone 0131 243 2699 for the booking line.

Created on 27 July 2013

Mark Neary is a blogger and father to Steven, who has autism and other learning difficulties.  He has written a fascinating guest blog on the BBC website about the use of jargon in social care.  Read  the full article here

Here are 10 jargon phrases I jotted down on the back of a beer mat, the kind of things which make Steven’s life sound even less “normal”:

1. I live in my home. Steven’s current placement is in the family home.

2. When I make a pizza, I’m making a pizza. When Steven makes a pizza, he’s increasing his independence skills (as overseen by an occupational therapist).

3. If I cry, I’m sad about something. If Steven cries, it is logged and analysed by the psychologist and positive behaviour team.

4. If I shout or swear, I’m angry about something. If Steven shouts or swears, it is challenging behaviour and new behaviour management plans need to be drawn up.

Accessing the community aka a day at a theme park

5. If I choose between steak or fish for my tea, I’m making a choice. If Steven chooses either steak or fish for his tea, he is being empowered.

6. I have friends. Steven has a circle of support and influence.

Mark Neary and Steven at a theme park

7. If I’m asked what I want to do with my free time, I’m planning my hobbies. If Steven is asked what he wants to do with his free time, it’s his person-centred plan.

8. If I make an unwise choice, I’ve messed up. If Steven makes an unwise choice he may be lacking mental capacity.

9. If I sort my CDs into alphabetical order, I’m being a bit anal. If Steven sorts his Mr Bean DVDs into colour order, he is being inappropriately obsessive.

10. If I eat two Mars bars, I’m being a pig. If Steven eats two Mars bars, he is challenging boundaries.