Many people with a learning disability can and should access mainstream mental health services with reasonable adjustments and this should be the preferred option following a needs-led assessment.
What is a reasonable adjustment?
Reasonable adjustments are changes that all services in the UK have a statutory duty to make to ensure that people who are considered to be in a protected category, also known as ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act, 2010, can access services equally in comparison to the general population.
Why do we need reasonable adjustments?
Because it is known that in the past many people who consider themselves to be in a protected characteristic category were excluded from services because the way the services were provided did not take account of their needs.
What types of changes could be thought of as reasonable adjustments?
- Changing the times of appointments.
- Changing the length of time for an appointment.
- Changing the places for appointments
- Requesting an advocate or a chaperone to attend an appointment.
- Information about your appointment and any information about your needs being written in a way that you can understand it.
- Employers supporting you to keep working by making changes to the place, hours, work tasks that you do.
How and when do I ask for a reasonable adjustment?
You can ask a service directly to provide a reasonable adjustment for you if you feel that you are at a disadvantage due to your disability when trying to access the service. Everyone should have an equal right to the same services.