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Falling through the cracks





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Published on Mar 29, 2012

The Impact of Welfare Reforms on People with Learning Disabilities.

Shoot Your Mouth Off have produced a documentary film exploring the effects of the cuts in frontline services to young people and adults with a learning disability in the North East. This was funded through VONNE's Policy and Representation Partnership, which helps the voluntary and community sector to influence public policy. See

From our own observation, it is not usually the most severely impaired who are suffering the severest deprivation, as their Fair Access to Care needs will continue to be rated at critical, ensuring that they are likely to retain a comprehensive care package. The most adversely affected are those whose learning disability does not impair them sufficiently to require 24 hour care. Typically these people have been encouraged to live semi-independently in the community, with minimal staff input and have accessed a range of activities and services which ensure that their social and intellectual needs are met. With the closure of many statutory and voluntary sector services these people now find themselves living independently in no community to speak of. Isolated, unvalued and invisible, they can easily slip into depression and despair.

Through the use of video interviews and participatory research, SYMO has ensured that the stories of these people are told and that they reach the ears of the people who can influence policy. This project has collaborated with advocacy organisations such as Arcadea, Inclusion North and the Learning Disability Coalition to enhance and widen the impact of their campaigns.

The video will be launched on Wednesday 4th April 2012 and will include a debate with policy makers. The work will be shared with the nine Learning Disability Partnership Boards, which include representatives from Adult and Community Services.

For more information about this work or to become involved contact Karen Sheader at SYMO -
For more information about the Policy and Representation Partnership contact Natalie Maidment -


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