News: Website Launched To Support Learning Disability Services
Wednesday, 23rd June 2004
People with learning disabilities from Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, and their carers, are to benefit from a new 'user-friendly' website, launched today as part of national Learning Disability Week (21-27 June).
The unique website portal, www.talk2usathrv.net provides a wide range of information and online support for service users, their carers and families via the East Lancashire Service Users Network. Users will have access to information about the work of their local Learning Disability Partnership Boards and a dedicated 'chat room' and consultation forums where ideas and opinions can be shared.
The content of the site will be developed and controlled by a team of people with a learning disability, recruited and trained for this role. The portal has been designed for maximum accessibility in terms of both navigation and editorial control.
The website has been developed by members of the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Partnership Board (a mixed consultation group) in association with Charity Skills and Mencap, the UK's leading learning disabilities charity. The site will be hosted and maintained by Charity Skills.
David Custance, Head of Learning Disability Services at Lancashire Social Services, said:
"The project aims to encourage and empower those with learning disabilities to have greater access to information and become more involved in developing the kind of support services available to them through the use of the internet.
"People with a learning disability are not a separate group of people, but simply members of the local community who need an increased amount of choice and support to help them live as fully and independently as possible."
Sally Weatherill, director of Charity Skills, added:
"This is a quiet revolution. This network is the first fully accessible website for partnership boards putting the service users at the heart of managing the website."
National Learning Disability Week is an annual campaign organised by Mencap to raise awareness of the 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK.
Lancashire Social Services works in partnership with health partners (including Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley PCT) and the voluntary sector to support around 2,500 adults across the county who have a learning disability to live and work as independently as possible in their local community.
Notes for Editors
Partnership Boards have been set up across Lancashire to help implement the Government's strategy for modernising learning disability services, Valuing People. Family carers, people with a learning disability, and representatives from a wide range of organisations, including those that actually provide services, now sit on Partnership Boards.
For information about Mencap's national Learning Disability Week, visit www.mencap.org.uk
Charity Skills is as an independent, membership and not-for-profit organisation (www.charityskills.org)
For further information please contact: Andrew Lynn on 01772 534372