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Reaching Out to people with learning disabilities and their families from Black and Minority Ethnic communities

People with learning disabilities and their families from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities continue to experience inequalities in health and social care despite various efforts to improve engagement.

The aim of the Reaching out to families project was to find new ways of addressing this issue - with particular attention to the role of third sector organisations and the use of action learning techniques in order to identify examples of good practice. At its heart was the aim of enabling people with learning disabilities and their families from BME communities to have a stronger voice, assisting them to access services more appropriate and meaningful to their individual requirements and circumstances.

The project was commissioned by the Department of Health as part of its Third Sector Investment Programme and was carried out by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD). The work would complement several other initiatives that were underway or about to commence (see Appendix A). It was envisaged that the work would then be developed further and implemented across the country through the Valuing People Team (or its successor), the Regional Networks and local Learning Disability Partnership Boards.

This report is accompanied by two guides ‘Culturally Competent Planning’ and ‘Culturally Competent Practice’. We will also be releasing a template workbook ‘My Cultural Life Plan’ for people with learning disabilities and their families to use as a planning aid. All quotes in these reports have come from the action learning sites and names have been anonymised to protect peoples identities.