Inclusion and independence for adults with a learning disability

New plans to support adults with a learning disability in Tower Hamlets to live well have been approved by the council’s cabinet.

The plans identify a number of actions to ensure that adults with a learning disability are healthy, safe and respected, can live locally, be part of the community and involved in activities. 

Co-produced by local people with a learning disability, their families and carers, who were consulted earlier this year, Living Well, the adult learning disability strategy sets out how the council and partners aim to work together with people with learning disability to achieve these goals.

Councillor Denise Jones, Chair of Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) and Cabinet member for Health and Adults Services said: “We want to do more to promote inclusion and independence for people with a learning disability. We are determined to make sure that all people with a learning disability in Tower Hamlets live well and enjoy a full life, are treated equally and respected, and that their rights are recognised.”

National estimates indicate that more than two per cent of the adult population have a learning disability, which equates to almost 5,000 people in Tower Hamlets.

People with learning disability and representatives from partner agencies formed a Learning Disability Partnership Board, which shaped the strategy and will be implementing the plans.

The strategy will be launched at an event on October 11 attended by Mayor John Biggs, people with a learning disability, carers and representatives of partner organisations including community groups, voluntary organisations, the NHS, and private companies.

Dr Sam Everington, chair of Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group and vice chair of the HWB said: “We want to encourage everyone in Tower Hamlets to play their part and work together to make sure that adults with a learning disability in Tower Hamlets really do live well.”

Council officer Samantha Walker is an example of how a young adult with a learning disability can live and work locally and be involved in community activities with the right support.

With help from her social worker who guided Samantha through the bidding process, Samantha moved from supported accommodation into a flat in the borough where she now lives independently.

The Tower Project Job Enterprise and Training Service (JET), commissioned by the council to provide specialist supported employment services for people with a learning disability, worked with Samantha to secure her current job.

Samantha received travel training and now travels independently, enjoys social activities organised by the Tower Project and is a member of the Learning Disability Partnership Board.

“It is good to be involved and I feel respected. I am a member of the partnership board because I want to speak up for people with learning disability,” Samantha said.