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

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

1 Upholding people’s rights

People with learning disabilities are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as everyone else in society. As you learned in Session 1, this is enshrined in law across a number of countries – for example, the UK Human Rights Act 1998 and the UK Equality Act 2010. It is also backed up by an important international agreement called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). But does this reflect the reality of people’s day-to-day lives?

Activity 1 Experiences of rights

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch this video of people with learning disabilities talking about rights then answer the questions that follow.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 2
Skip transcript: Video 2

Transcript: Video 2

SHAUN
If there are any rights denied to me, I would say it’s mostly employment rights and housing rights, due to the fact that there is no help there for employment or housing.
CHARLENE
We worry because we're too scared to ask for help because we don't know if that person knows the answer to give to us.
TERRY
Not stressing people out with all these forms and red tape. Or if your disability will get better, would you be able to work or will you still be on benefits?
CIAN
I think people with learning difficulties should be able to have as much power as anyone else.
SHAUN
I believe that people should have the right, but they don't because the social inclusion does not allow it because the reason why social inclusion doesn’t allow it is because you've got government, you've got education. There's a lot of barriers that are in the way, a lot of hurdles, and it's just something that we're trying to get equal rights for.
CIAN
The right to live in dignity, people often look at me and can tell that I'm different and just make a really rude comment to me.
SHAUN
Go to your Citizens Advice Bureau and they'll help you out, and just try and kick some behind.
End transcript: Video 2
Video 2
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  1. Click the link below to answer the poll on rights.

    Link: Rights [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.

  2. Make a note of some of the things that stop people’s rights being upheld, according to the people in the video.

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Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Answer

Some of the issues you may have noted are:

  • there is not enough support or help available
  • prejudice and stigma
  • systems and processes that make people feel stressed
  • people with learning disabilities being afraid to ask for help.

Video 2 showed that there are a number of barriers that stop people with learning disabilities exercising their rights. In the next section, you will read about the devastating impact this can have on people’s lives.

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