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Learning disabilities made clear toolkit

Supporting people with a learning disability access healthcare.


For many people, accessing the healthcare system remains a frightening experience - they are confronted by new environments, meet unfamiliar people, and don't know what to expect.

These fears may be compounded when the person coming into hospital already has other needs, such as a mental health condition, dementia, or a learning disability. Such conditions can affect the person's perceptions or understanding of hospital experiences. 

This toolkit brings together a range of resources to promote understanding about what it’s like to live with a learning disability, allowing healthcare professionals to adjust the care they deliver and helping people with a learning disability accesses the services they need.

Sue Read, Professor of Learning Disabilities, Keele University said:

If we can get healthcare services right for people with a learning disability, then we get healthcare services right for everyone.

Making a difference - Key Messages for Staff
Booklet: Understanding autism
Booklet: Understanding dementia
picTTalk Communication app to use on iPad and Android devices 
Communication flash cards on a ring (10 cards)
Hospital communication passport
The Hospital Communication Book. Key sections are free to download for personal use.
Film: Making a Difference Together
Film: Going into hospital
Film: Understanding autism
Leaflet for professionals: Understanding autism
Leaflet for professionals: Understanding dementia
Leaflet: Getting it Right (Mencap)
Power point presentation: Understanding autism
Power point presentation: Understanding dementia
Power point presentation: Access to healthcare - (note: embedded video will not work on OS X computers)
Meeting the health needs of people with learning disabilities (RCN Guidelines)
Leaflet for professionals: ABCD checklist for primary care practices
Communication pictograms cards - These cannot be downloaded but can be purchased from Asist.  Alternatively you can download the picTTalk app for iPad or Android devices.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults (Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership)
This resource is not currently available to download.  For enquiries about this resource, please email s.c.read@keele.ac.uk
Booklet: Understanding safeguarding

Booklet: When someone you know has died…a guide for carers offering bereavement support
Leaflet: When someone you know has died… clear information
Booklet: When someone you know has died…a guide for professionals offering bereavement support
Booklet: Children’s Hospices, useful information (for staff, children and families)
Booklet: Culture, Faith and Spiritual Care (for staff, children and families)
Booklet: Emotions (for staff, children and families)
Booklet: Everyone Communicates (for staff, children and families)
Film: Conversations about death and what it means
Booklet: Living with an illness that I will die from: A Carer’s Guide
Leaflet: Living with an illness that I will die from: 1. Finding out… (for people with learning disabilities)
Leaflet: Living with an illness that I will die from: 2. My Questions… (for people with learning disabilities)
Leaflet: Living with an illness that I will die from: 3. What Next… (for people with learning disabilities)
Leaflet: Living with an illness that I will die from: 4. Being Prepared… (for people with learning disabilities)
Booklet: Living with an illness that I will die from: A guide for professionals offering palliative care and support
Booklet: When someone you know has died…people with learning disabilities supporting each other
Power point: Loss and bereavement

Introductory guide to using resources
Web links and resources
Interactive evaluation form
Toolkit evaluation and good practice examples

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