07th November 2016
Including People with Learning Disabilities in Meetings
We go to a lot of meetings and conferences where we are the only people with learning disabilities.
Everyone else is a family member of somebody with a learning disability , or a somebody who works for a service that people with learning disabilities use.
Why is this?
There are often separate groups, like the National Forum, for people with learning disabilities to discuss things.
But we think they should also be in the room with everyone else when things are decided about people with learning disabilities.
Some things would need to be changed. But these are small things that would make meetings better for everyone.
1. Put information in easy read, so we can read it!
2. Send papers out before the meeting, so we have plenty of time to read them and make sure we understand
what is going to be discussed.
3. Have shorter meetings or regular breaks – we cannot concentrate for hours at a time.
4. Encourage people to admit when they don’t understand something, and to ask for help. Some people feel embarrassed about this, so the chair needs to make them feel ok.
We are part of some NICE Guideline Committees about people with learning disabilities.
They have done a good job of making the meetings accessible.
Even the professionals say they like getting the papers ahead of time and in easy read.
Making meetings more accessible to people with learning disabilities will help everyone – not just people who have learning disabilities.
Just don’t forget to invite some people with learning disabilities!
*All information is correct at the time of publishing