On the 25th May we were part of an event to share the findings of the Getting Things Changed project . This was a big research project that took place from 2015-2018.
The project was about the problems faced by disabled people. We wanted to know why policies and laws, like the Equality Act, often do not make a difference to practice. We wanted to think about how things can be changed. We looked at this in lots of different ways. For example, we looked at how services support parents with a learning disability, how services are planned and paid for, how the TV uses actors with learning disabilities and how hospital services can be ‘reasonably adjusted’ (changed) so that they are easier for disabled people to use. The NDTi was part of the ‘reasonably adjusted’ work.
We found that although there were some examples of good practice where reasonable adjustments had been put in place, this was not common practice. Many disabled people still have difficulties accessing services because hospitals are not following the law and are not listening to disabled people.
There were some key messages for hospital staff. They are:
They can be found on the website
All the different parts of the project have ‘policy briefings’, The Reasonably Adjusted policy briefing is here.
It was a great day. There were some excellent workshops and a cabaret, including the Inclusion Choir who got everyone singing.
Although some reasonable adjustments can be complicated, not listening came up time and time again across all the themes as a reason that change did not happen.
One disabled person who was part of the research said:
‘I don’t want special. I just want appropriate...but that means listen to people and communicate with me.’
A simple message and something we can all do!