Communicative Practices in Staff Support of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
This chapter is about some of the ways in which adults with intellectual disabilities (such as, e.g. those with Down syndrome) communicate with those around them — most specifically, with staff who are charged with supporting them. Such staff help service users live independently, by overseeing their day-to-day household activities, arranging travel, planning leisure outings, and providing accompaniment to institutional appointments. In the United Kingdom (UK),1 recent government policy places great value on the activities of support staff in the promotion of choice, control, and empowerment. The Care Act 2014 (UK Government, 2014) placed a duty on local authorities to promote an individual’s well-being, which includes ‘control by the individual over day-to-day life (including over care and support)’ and ‘participation in work, education, training or recreation’. In doing this, the authority must have regard for ‘the individual’s wishes, views, feelings or beliefs’, with the individual ‘participating as fully as possible in decisions … and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable the individual to participate’.
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