Being able to communicate (talking and being listened to)
- Communication is central to access: it opens doors to having control. Not being able to speak doesn’t mean not having anything to say.
- Access is supported when people listen.
- Access can be denied when professionals ignore what people with learning disabilities think the important issues are.
- If people are listened to then decisions can be made based on all the information.
Being ready and prepared for access
- Access is helped when you teach people the skills to help themselves.
- Access is hard when people are not properly prepared. For example, not being ready to start a job.
- Access is helped when people with learning disabilities can show what they can do. For example, making CD-ROMS of people's skills so that people with learning disabilities can show people what they can do when go to job interviews.
- Time is important We need time to learn, time to communicate and time to practice. We need to work to the time (pace) of people with learning disabilities.
- Having the knowledge, the confidence to ask for things and good networks can help you gain access. It is what researchers call 'social capital'.