The right to choose where you liveType: Research
Topic: Camphill | Disability rights | Learning disability | Policy and legislation
We welcome the Scottish Government’s determination to ensure that good quality care and support is available in every area of Scotland for people with learning disabilities. As reported by BBC Scotland earlier this month, the Government have commissioned research to address the scandal of people with learning disabilities being forced to move away from home against their will. That should not happen to anyone.
There is one rather odd quote in the article, however.
I think it is absolutely clear that anybody with a learning disability can be in their local community and indeed should be
On whose authority can we tell anyone where they should be?
People with learning disability have a right to choose where they live just like anyone else. I’m sure most people reading this article have weighed up the advantages and disadvantages of moving from their current location to another one. It is not easy to assess the respective gains and losses. The important thing is to do your research, compare the alternatives, consult with family and friends and make the decision. The best decision is not always to stay put.
Barriers that restrict choice
We asked an independent research company to look into the views and experiences of those most involved in the decision to come and live and work in Camphill. We had a huge response, with 226 people responding to an online survey and 20 people interviewed, including 111 parents, carers and family members who completed the survey and the 5 who were interviewed.
The researchers discovered that people wishing to access our highly regarded services encounter a set of attitudinal barriers that together conspire to restrict choice for people with learning disabilities. It would appear that care managers tend to begin with a preference for ‘local provision’. Parents and carers are much more willing to find out about Camphill, to consider it as a suitable place and to experience it positively once their relative gets there.
Top tips from parents & carers
When parent and carers were asked for their ‘best advice’ to those wishing to access a place in a Camphill community the top result, mentioned by 31% of respondents, was
remain firm with the local authorities that this is the best place
while 15% advised
don’t give up / don’t compromise / keep trying
The ability to move freely is just as important as the choice to remain where you are.