PG students

LSBU takes leading national role in support for people with learning disabilities

29 October 2020

LSBU will be holding an international public event on the impact of Covid-19 on people living with intellectual or learning disabilities on 29 October 2020. On the same day it is also announcing the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (FPLD), one of the leading UK organisations on learning disabilities, is joining LSBU.

The FPLD works to ensure people with learning disabilities have the same rights and choices as everyone else in society. It delivers research, training sessions, advice online and guidance to organisations across the UK including the government.

The LSBU public event on Covid-19 and people with learning disabilities is run in collaboration with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and the FPLD. Speakers include Sir Norman Lamb, former MP and champion for the rights of people with learning disabilities. A new book about COVID-19 and having a learning disability and/or autism called ‘Peter & friends’ will be launched at the LSBU event on 29 October.

In June the Care Quality Commission found during the Covid-19 crisis there had been a 134% increase in deaths of people with learning disabilities.

Christine-Koulla Burke, Director of FPLD, said, “Joining LSBU gives us a huge opportunity to further develop the work of the Foundation in the prevention of poor mental health and supporting the rights and inclusion of people with learning disabilities. It will give us direct access to expert LSBU health academics and an important opportunity to inform LSBU’s academic programmes about the support that is needed for students and staff with learning disabilities.”

Eddie Chaplin, Professor at LSBU’s School of Health and Social Care, said, “I am delighted to welcome the FPLD into our university. They are a national leader on support for people with learning disabilities and a powerful advocate for their rights. This is another example of LSBU’s commitment to social justice and our national leading role on health and social care.

“We are proud to hosting this event that launches the Peter and Friends ebook, which will be freely available to all. The book and the event have attracted international attention. Contributions have come from Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain, South Africa and Wales, by people with learning disabilities, their families and those supporting them during the Covid-19 pandemic.”