In 2000 CHANGE was funded by The Department of Health to create 3 easy read booklets, including a booklet called 'Planning a Baby'.
While we worked on these booklets we spoke to many women with learning disabilities. They told us that there was no easy read information to support them after they became pregnant. At this point we decided to create easy read books about parenting.
We organised a steering group meeting to learn about the experiences of parents with learning disabilities. They said that their children were often removed from their care unfairly because they had no support to help them become better parents.
The parents asked CHANGE to work on 3 things to help parents with learning disabilities keep their children.
1. Create easy read books on parenting.
We have created 3 easy read books which are approved by UNICEF UK.
You and Your Baby Book 0 - 1
You and Your Little Child 1 - 5
My Pregnancy, My Choice
They are used across the UK by parents and professionals and have also been translated into Czech.
2. Training parents with learning disabilities to deliver training to health and social care professionals.
More parents with learning disabilities now lead the way in training health and social care professionals.
3. Guidance to help professionals support parents with learning disabilities
In January 2005 we organised our first National Gathering, an event that over 150 people came to including parents with learning disabilities. At this event we decided on demands for the Government. Following our demands the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions commissioned us to create Good Practice Guidance – Supporting Parents with Learning Disabilities
We have also researched the access that parents with learning disabilities have to maternity services
All of our easy read books and research have been co-produced with parents with learning disabilities.