Learning Disabled People - the Forgotten Passengers?



Learning Disabled People - the Forgotten Passengers?

Authors

LAVERY I, KNOX J and SLEVIN E, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, UK

Description

This paper is based upon research into the blocks and barriers that prevent people with severe learning disabilities accessing public transport and travelling independently. The research was commissioned by Agencies in Consortium for Education and Trainin

Abstract

This paper is based upon research into the blocks and barriers that prevent people with severe learning disabilities accessing public transport and travelling independently. The research was commissioned by Agencies in Consortium for Education and Training (ACET), whose members come from voluntary and statutory agencies that provide education and training for people with disabilities in South and East Belfast. The project was funded by the Department of the Environment (NI), Department of Education (NI), the Training and Employment Agency and the South and East Belfast Health Trust. The project had four main research aims, one of which was:-

"To identify the range of variables which promote or hinder the development of independent travel for children and adults with severe learning disabilities." For the purposes of this project the term "severe learning disability" was taken as synonymous with "severe mental handicap" as defined under the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order (1986):-

"a state of arrested or incomplete development of the mind which includes severe impairment ofinteUigence and social functioning"

Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order (1986)

The term "learning disability/ies" is utilised in this paper as it is considered a less disparaging label than "mental handicap". The use of the words "learning disability" when referring to this client group is supported by the Review of Policy for People with a Learning Disability where it is stated that:-

'"learning disability' is generally accepted as the most meaningful term to cover the wide variation in ability and associated needs of the people concerned"

(DHSS, 1995, 2.2, p. 5)

Publisher

Association for European Transport