Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

4.1 Improving the lives of people with severe or profound learning disabilities

What other things might help to improve the lives of people who have higher support needs?

Activity 4 Changing society?

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Let’s go back to the question about changing society, this time with a focus on people with severe or profound learning disabilities.

  1. Watch Video 5, about Marvin, narrated by his mum. Then consider what changes to society could improve Marvin’s quality of life by answering the poll below.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 5
Skip transcript: Video 5

Transcript: Video 5

MARGARET
I came from the Caribbean. I was born in the Caribbean. I came here very young. And I had Marvin. When he was born, everything seemed OK. And later on, he wasn't reaching the milestones, which I thought he would have done. And I approached the health visitor and they said, ‘No problem, some kids are slower than others’.
And they started doing more investigation, like speech therapy and stuff like that. At that time, he was about four years old. Coming on to four. So all this time, I've been shunted from pillar to post not knowing what's wrong with him. And eventually, we went to Great Ormond Street. One of these doctors said that he was autistic.
It was a real struggle. It was very stressful for myself. At that time, his dad, frustrated with his problem having a child like that, is gone. So I'm a single parent then. We all have this problem. The partner is always the other way.
My son is 35. And at 35, he'd probably be a married person by now. But because he is disabled, he's still like a child. He cannot handle anything. Any correspondence, money. He can't handle that. So you're totally-- he's totally dependent on someone.
Now I was that person who did everything for him. And he's gone somewhere else. And someone else-- you're not sure the other person is doing the same thing. It's like a job for them. So they do what they can and they are off home. For the rest of his life, when I'm gone, he'll still have to have someone to be dependent on.
End transcript: Video 5
Video 5
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Click the link below to vote for the change you think would most improve Marvin’s quality of life

Link: Changing society? [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Once you have submitted your choice you can then see how others have voted.

In this section you have thought about supporting people who are not able to tell us what would make their lives full and enjoyable, and how the social model of disability might apply to them.

In the next section you will learn how many people have a learning disability and where they live.

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