York, UK April 2005
Valuing People and person-centred approaches have given many people a desire for real change and energy to make change. But energy gets drained away by ways of working that don’t fit Valu- ing People’s principles and desire for change turns into frustration when it takes a long time to dissolve the barriers to people having better lives.
Where do the barriers come from?
There are many specific barriers to realigning services to support better lives, but most of these barriers come from the ways that four common causes work together:
• Society has still not learned to value people with learning disabilities as equal citizens. It is common to underestimate what people with learning disabilities can contribute, to expect that they should settle for poor conditions, and to discriminate against them. Mainstream services figure that people with learn- ing disabilities will be looked after by specialist services. These beliefs are so much taken for granted that people can discrimi- nate against people with learning disabilities without even being aware of it.