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Learning disability policy gets a new look

23 Hydref 2007

A team of learning disability professionals, parents and people with learning disabilities headed up by a professor from the School of Medicine has guided the Welsh Assembly Government in developing a learning disability policy for the 21st Century.

The Learning Disability Implementation Advisory Group, co-chaired by Professor David Felce, Director of the Welsh Centre for Learning Disabilities in the Department of Psychological Medicine, advised the Assembly on the implementation of a new ‘Statement on Policy and Practice for Adults with a Learning Disability’.

"It sets out a vision for the future for people with a learning disability and will guide the future design and delivery of Wales’ health and social services to people with learning disabilities", explains Professor Felce.

The contemporary statement also confirms Wales’ commitment to making sure all people with a learning disability are full citizens, equal in status and value to other citizens of the same age, with the same rights as every other person in Wales.

The Learning Disability Implementation Advisory Group was established in 2003 by the Welsh Assembly Government to advise on the implementation of the All Wales Strategy for People with Learning Disabilities. The Group’s ongoing advice and guidance of was praised by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Gwenda Thomas AM, during the official launch of the Statement at the Senedd.

She said: "This group has provided helpful and thoughtful advice to the Welsh Assembly Government on a wide range of issues that affect the lives of people with learning disabilities. It has played a key role in developing our new contemporary statement.

"I am sure that these new principles will be absorbed and embraced quickly by all learning disability stakeholders and will soon become an integral part of the cultural and philosophical approach that will help guide the future design and development of service and support arrangements for adults with a learning disability."

The Advisory Group is currently working on an Action Plan to follow up the policy statement.