Last week we attended the Learning Disability England (LDE) ‘Supported Living Conference – a service or a life?’ in Manchester. LDE is a new organisation that brings together three groups of people – people with learning disabilities; their families and friends; and the organisations and people who work with them. MacIntyre was one of the first organisations to join LDE as we feel that it is important that people with disabilities are properly represented and can ensure their voices are heard.
It was a great opportunity to debate and share the latest thinking in helping people with learning disabilities lead better lives. The theme of the conference was supported living and the need to make sure people are in control of what happens in their lives and that their rights are central to how they live.
We were lucky enough to not just attend the conference but to exhibit too, so we took the occasion to raise awareness of learning disability and dementia as part of the MacIntyre Dementia Project.
Karen Duggan, Dementia Project Manager, said:
“We wanted to raise awareness of how important it is for an environment to be dementia friendly – and how this can be done simply to ensure the person lives as independently and safely as possible. It is after all their life and their home, and they should live there as long as they wish to, it is definitely not a ‘service’.”
Roise Joustra, MacIntyre Dementia Project Self Advocate, also thought the conference was a success.
“I enjoyed speaking to people about dementia, I was able to go through the aims of the project with them and give information. The whole day was amazing, I could talk to people and I also had the chance to look at the other displays.”
Our CEO, Sarah Burslem, who attended the conference and sat on the panel for the discussion about ‘Getting supported living right’, added:
“The LDE conference was a real tonic for all who attended. To connect with and to focus on the important issues with such honesty was a welcome distraction from “austerity talk”. There were some amazing personal stories of resilience and pure brilliance, such as the poem written and read by the inspiring Suzie Fothergill. The general message was that there is no going back in terms of ambitions and rights for people with learning disabilities and that we all have responsibilities to ensure people lead lives that have real shape and character.”
To find out more about the MacIntyre Dementia Project, contact Karen Duggan on firstname.lastname@example.org