About this Guide
Know Your Rights is a guide about rights for people with learning disabilities. It has been produced by The Association for Supported Living (ASL), Housing Options and The Campaign for a Fair Society.
Know Your Rights has been broken down into six main themes:
- 01. Housing
- 02. Social and Health Care
- 03. Making Decisions
- 04. Money
- 05. Fair Treatment
- 06. Protection and Liberty
It has brought together all of the complicated pieces of the law in what we hope is an easy to understand way. Throughout the guide there are links to more detailed information. We hope it will be useful in helping people get the help they need and the treatment to which the law entitles them.
Why we developed this guide
Historically people with learning disabilities have faced disempowerment within the legal system, negative social attitudes and frequent bad treatment and abuse. The availability of real practical help varies enormously and is dependent upon available finances and the inventiveness of professionals who work for people with disabilities. Sadly, public funding is often in short supply and what there is of it can be badly mismanaged. These facts impact directly on the quality of life of people with learning disabilities and their carers.
As the social care environment becomes more restricted and access to help more problematic, it is important to remember that everyone shares in the benefits of citizenship and legal rights, whether or not they have been labelled with 'learning disabilities’, 'autism’ or whatever. In times of austerity and cut-backs it is good to remind government departments and public sector agencies that they operate within the framework of the law and must abide by what the law says and how the courts interpret the meaning of the law.
We want this website to be relevant and useful as a starting point when faced with practical problems. If you feel something is needed or you would like clarification on any of the content please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Association for Supported Living (ASL)
The ASL is a membership organisation for Supported Living Providers that gives a central source of support and information among all participating members, and is committed to improving the lives of individuals who benefit from the delivery of forward-thinking supported living services.
The ASL is determined to use its collective voice and experience to work with central government and its agencies to promote best practice and define a progressive national agenda.
About Housing Options
Housing Options has been advising people with learning disabilities and their carers for over fifteen years. Although our focus is housing, it is impossible to look at different aspects of peoples' needs in isolation, so advice about housing will often involve considering other problems such as arranging support, benefits, the legalities of decision making etc. Housing Options has always tried to offer real solutions to real problems, so we hope this guide can provide good information to support people with learning disabilities to enforce their legal rights.
About the Campaign for a Fair Society
The Campaign began on 30th November 2010 in Southwark. A group of people who had worked for many years alongside disabled people and their families met to explore future prospects. The group felt strongly that many of the hard-won achievements of the last 40 years were now under threat and that something should be done. The Campaign for a Fair Society is in its early days. We welcome the involvement of as many people and organisations as possible.