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Differently Abled: making a difference to people with learning disabilities

People with learning disabilities, their friends, family and carers in Hull and the East Riding can get advice and information about the support available to them at a free event this Friday at the KCOM Stadium.

Differently Abled has been planned by City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP CIC), East Riding of Yorkshire Council and other local organisations with the aim of raising awareness about the needs of people with a learning disability and offering support and advice to their carers. The event will also provide a networking and learning opportunity for health and social care professionals.

It’s the first time an event of this type has been organised in Hull and Suzanne Nicholls, Learning Disability Primary Care Liaison Nurse for CHCP, explained its importance. She said: “There is a wide range of support available for people with a learning disability, but half the battle can be signposting them to the right care and support. This event will enable us to do that all under one roof.

“People with learning disabilities are 58 times more likely to die before the age of 50, often because of health conditions that could have been avoided.”

Councillor Richard Harrap, East Riding of Yorkshire Council portfolio holder for adult and carer services, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity that will benefit people who are living with a learning disability, their families and carers, as well as health and social care professionals.

“Never before has there been such a breadth of information, from employment through to social activities, available all in one place in Hull and the East Riding, so I would urge anyone in need of additional support or information to go along.”

The event will feature a Health Zone, where medical experts will be on hand to talk about medication, conditions like epilepsy and to perform blood pressure checks and other tests. This will raise awareness of the importance of health checks and significantly reduce health inequalities locally.

There will also be an Information Zone, where visitors can get details about day services, social activities, benefit advice and employment, and a Communication Zone, featuring speech and language therapists showcasing eye gaze equipment and demonstrating how to create a communication-friendly environment.

Differently Abled will also feature an Autism Reality Experience, an immersive training facility that can help people to understand more about the sensory difficulties faced by autistic people.

Dr Gina Palumbo, a local GP and East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Chair, said: “Differently Abled 2018 is an excellent opportunity to showcase the variety of services available for people with learning disabilities in Hull and the East Riding.

“It is important that people are aware of and can access these services as we work with them to improve their health and strive to realise our goal of ensuring they can ‘start well, live well and age well’.”

All local health and social care staff are being encouraged to attend, as the certified event will give them the chance to speak to others in the industry, including the heads of organisations such as Hull and East Riding Clinical Commissioning Groups, who are hosting an informal Q&A session.

Melanie Bradbury, Vulnerable People Lead, NHS Hull CCG added “This will be a great opportunity for local people to find out about the range of help and support that is available.” 

Miss Nicholls said: “This event will be a valuable learning opportunity for all staff, as it will increase people’s confidence when working with people who have a learning disability and also give staff an awareness of the diverse range of services available locally.”

Differently Abled takes place at the KCOM Stadium on Friday 9 February, from 10am until 4pm. For more information, call 01482 222220 or email chcp.carersinfo@nhs.net.

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