Working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people: people with learning disabilities: Richard's story

What is the video about?

In this video we meet Richard who was diagnosed with a learning disability at an early age. Richard explains his confusion around his sexuality and how he was not provided with adequate sex education. It explores his experiences of social care in relation to person-centred reviews and independent living. Richard discusses how he wanted to find a relationship and the subsequent isolation he felt when his request for support to go out and meet people was dismissed. Richard placed a formal complaint about the lack of support he was given. The video highlights the need for trained workers in sexuality and learning disabilities along with the need to adequately balance risk and responsibility toward the individual concerned so that they can live an inclusive and empowered life.

Messages for practice

  1. When providing services to an LGBT individual with a learning disability there will be the need to balance both responsibility toward the individual’s rights and the need to contain risks.
  2. Social exclusion and isolation are key factors to LGBT lives.
  3. Providers need to be trained to be able to sensitively discuss relationships and sexuality with individuals and the impact this has upon person-centred and personalised care.
  4. The inclusion of LGBT communities and individuals in the commissioning of care services is key to creating a more inclusive and diverse sector.
  5. People with learning disabilities have sexual desires and different sexual orientations just like anyone else.

Who will find this useful?

Commissioners; directors of adult social services; social workers; social care workers; service users, their carers and families; social care and social work students; the general public.