Social Policy relating to people with disability.

Essay by bigpapaUniversity, Bachelor's March 2004

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Consider the key legislation and policy reforms from past to present day which relate to your chosen client group. How effective has the legislation and policy reforms been in practice?

In this essay I will set out to identify key legislation, which has impacted and shaped the lives of my particular client group, adults with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can be hard to define, but it is widely accepted that impairments in the ability to read, write, spell, speak or perform any mathematical calculations can lead to a diagnosis of learning disabilities. The campaign group Values into Action defines learning disabilities as "A disorder in one or more of the basic cognitive and psychological process involved in understanding or using written or spoken language". I will give an overview of service provision from the incarceration of individuals in long stay institutions to the present day practice of caring for these individuals in the community.

The key legislation I will be focussing on is The N.H.S and Community Care (1990) Act; key components of this act were the concept of the therapeutic community, psychiatric rehabilitation, sheltered employment, day hospitals and talking therapy.

I will also identify other key legislation and government reports, post 1990. I will be examining what this act has meant in real terms for people who have learning disabilities. Most people would agree that provision is better now for this particular group than it's ever been in the past, but gaps still exist in service provision. I will also discuss society's perceptions and understanding of people who have learning disabilities, and how this mirrored government policies of the time.

Historically the 18th and early parts of the 19th century were bleak times for individuals who had a learning disability or a mental health problem. This time period saw...