Fear of taking a risk
Access should be about trying to make good things happen, rather than trying to prevent bad things from happening [Jane Seale]
- Staff can think more about risk assessment and avoiding risks than about making access happen.
- Accessing new things often involves risk for the person with learning disabilities. People with learning disabilities sometimes want to take risks but professionals can be afraid to take a risk in case something goes wrong.
- Access is being able to go to the cinema without the threat of being carried out, because you are a fire risk.
- Access is being able to have friends over, without support workers telling us we can’t “because of insurance”.
Systems that can’t change to meet our needs
- When support workers only work when it suits them and not when it suits the people with learning disabilities the access is not giving us what we want-it is inflexible.
- Access is not meeting needs when people with learning disabilities lose their benefits because they have taken on temporary or part-time work. It is hard to have to re-apply for benefits.
- Access is not meeting needs when it is run by other people’s timetables, rotas or holiday schedules (for example care workers).
- Access is unfair when staff organize “days out” and don’t give any choice about where to go or what to do, especially when people with learning disabilities often have to pay the costs of support staff on the “day out”.
- Rules and restrictions can stop people with learning disabilities having freedom and choice.