Quality standards in services for people with learning disabilities: a user perspective

Wintersgill, Cathy (1996) Quality standards in services for people with learning disabilities: a user perspective. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The research showsthat people with learning disabilities can and should be involved in setting quality standards for services. It may be unique in giving people with learning disabilities the opportunity to determine standards.
Five pre-exisling groups of people with learning disabilities were involved in the work.
The research explores imaginative approaches to involving people with learning disabilities in research. The innovative two stage process utilised a combination of open questions and semi-structured questions, in the first stage. A second phase
ensured that all participants had the opportunity to support or reject the standards, identified from the first stage, using non-verbal means to express their views.
This creative combination of different methods was found to be useful in achieving the involvement of participants with a range of different skills.
The standards identified by participants may not be as high as those which services would set for themselves. Two principle reasons for this are proposed. First, the conceptual abstraction of the notion of standards was an obstacle to effective user
participation. Second the experience of people with learning disabilities may detract from their having high expectations of services or believing that they might determine what they receive from those services. Neither obstacle is considered to
be insurmountable.
Eight user referenced standards are recommended to services.

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