How can advocacy partnerships make a difference to the lives of people with a learning disability?

Take a look at these case studies.

Providing a voice for a person with a learning disability

James has indicated clearly his wish to move to another location.  His preferred location is where he was born and lived as a young man.  The advocate is in discussion with Social Services strongly arguing the case for a change of accommodation for her partner.

Increasing skills and knowledge

Hannah was supported to join her local library. She has spent time with her partner developing her literacy skills and is very pleased with her personal achievement.

Building self esteem

An advocate reports that Ann now makes the decision regarding where they should visit. Ann has previously felt it more appropriate that the person she was with should make the choice. This new development has resulted from the trust she has in her advocate and the value and respect the advocate demonstrates for her partner.  It has allowed the relationship to develop further, disclosing new areas of interest and allowing the two parties to share in joint new experiences.

Establishing new relationships

Megan enjoys visits with her advocate’s grandchildren. She doesn’t have young members in her own family and has become an adopted aunt.  She relishes this new role.

Increasing choices

Thomas lives with his parents.  The parents, in their wish to protect their grown child, have sometimes restricted Thomas’ opportunities.  The advocate has carefully encouraged his partner to become more involved with community activities which has lead to increased choice, relationships, greater confidence and self esteem and the parents realising a greater level of potential for their son.

Gaining new experiences

Louise has attended the cinema for the very first time.  She very much enjoys this social activity and is keen to check her local paper advising her advocate of the films she is keen to view.  They are considering other ‘firsts’ they can enjoy together.

Increasing levels of disability awareness

Karen has an excellent relationship with her advocate which is based on mutual respect.  Members of the public observe the interaction between advocate and partner and feel more able to approach Karen. This has had the affect of Karen taking the initiative and approaching them!  New acquaintances have developed as a result.

Developing new links in the community

Sarah, with the encouragement of her advocate, has commenced using public transport.  This has not only allowed her greater access to wider areas of the community but has also resulted in a number of acquaintances with bus drivers and other bus users.

* All names have been changed to protect confidentiality