Building Strong Foundations: Listening to and Learning from People with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families
This chapter explores the importance of amplifying the voices and perspectives of people with intellectual disabilities in disability policy, research and service provision. It highlights what support workers and organisations might learn from actively listening to individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. The chapter emphasises the critical role that family members play in the lives of some service users, particularly those with severe or profound intellectual disabilities. Drawing on both published literature and unpublished data from a longitudinal study of group homes, the chapter identifies key themes and recommendations for enhancing the quality of support provided in group homes and other forms of supported accommodation services. These include prioritising effective communication, promoting a culture of accountability and teamwork, maintaining strong family relationships and fostering community engagement and social connections. By implementing these strategies, service providers can better meet the diverse support needs of people with intellectual disabilities while honouring their voices and individuality.