Not everyone with learning disabilities can use formal language or even pictures. This means it is more difficult to consult them on what they want.
This does not mean that they cannot be consulted at all however. It just means we have to be more creative to get people’s views.
People’s views may not be directly available, as often the concepts we want views on can be difficult to grasp. For example you might not find out from someone directly, or in so many words, that they want their day centre to close and be replaced with a more community based service.
However you can find out whether someone’s experiences have been positive or negative and how someone has responded to an experience by being sensitive to the communication of individuals.
The communication of someone who does not use formal language is usually around individual body language, vocalisations, facial expressions etc. You have to get to know the individual to find out what their ‘signs’ mean.
For consultation purposes the evidence of how someone feels about a service must then be shared with those who are in a position to make changes. Somehow the experiences of individuals, and the groups they make up, must be recorded and communicated to others.
Mar 15, 2012 05:29 AM