Public perceptions of disability in the Jewish community and beyond have changed immeasurably over the past decade.
With research showing that 7.4 percent of the Jewish population have some kind of learning disability, this has fuelled an increase in need for learning disability support across our community.
At a time when an inordinate focus in discussing the challenges facing the social care sector is understandably placed on concerns about funding, as the chief executives of three of the largest providers of Jewish learning disability services for the community, we stand united in our commitment to support the rights of people with learning disabilities to make decisions for themselves.
Greater choice and involvement in decision-making is an essential step on the path to empowering and ultimately achieving equality for people with learning disabilities.
For the purposes of our organisations, that means opening up the floor to the people we exist to support, listening to their, their families’ and supporters’ needs and concerns, so we can offer improved opportunities and better outcomes for them.
This is why we have launched a joint consultation to gather feedback from people with learning disabilities, their families and the wider community on our current offering.
This would serve to better ascertain where needs exist, and to take a fresh approach as to how we can improve our education, employment training opportunities and independent living support over the next 15 to 20 years.
We consider it important to set a precedent in encouraging dialogue and understanding across our community to create the best possible impact from our available resources now, and in the future, and to help secure the best possible outcomes for people with learning disabilities.
- Dr Beverley Jacobson, Richard Franklin & Neil Taylor, chief executives of Norwood, Kisharon & Langdon