Building bridges to a good life: a review of asset based, person centred approaches and people with learning disabilities in Scotland
McNEISH Di, SCOTT Sarah, WILLIAMS Jennie
This review explores the potential to join up thinking on increased choice and control for people with learning disabilities and the principles of asset based working. Commissioned by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, it considers the efficacy of asset based approaches for people with learning disabilities, looks at evidence of the impact these approaches can have on people’s lives and also identifies examples of good practice in Scotland. The review draws on the results of a literature review; interviews with key informants involved in asset based working and learning disability services; and a mapping of projects using asset based principles with people with learning disabilities across Scotland. The results suggest that there are is reason why the focus of assets work cannot be broadened to include opportunities for people with learning disabilities. However it suggests that asset based approaches should be seen in the context of efforts to advance the personalisation and social integration agendas, and that if that they need to fit alongside services, support systems and initiatives. Examples included in the review illustrate how services can add to the assets of individuals and communities, provided they are willing and committed to relating to people and doing things differently. Factors identified that facilitate asset based approaches with people with learning disabilities, include: addressing wider inequalities and stigma; ensuring people with learning disabilities are active participants in place based community development; and tackling attitudinal barriers and established ways of doing things.