Communications News: Turning Point urges shift in attitudes to learning difficulties

Poverty, prejudice and isolation are a daily reality for most people with learning disabilities, according to a study by social care charity Turning Point.

As a result of the findings, Turning Point is calling for a government campaign to shift public attitudes, a new employment programme and an investigation by the Social Exclusion Unit into ways of reducing inequalities.

The research shows that nine out of 10 of the UK's 1.5 million people with learning disabilities do not have a job while, for many people, work is not even an option.

Some 20,000 of this group have nothing to do during the day, leaving them alone and isolated from the community.

The study, based on interviews with Turning Point service-users and external research, showed that prejudice is also a common problem, with some even experiencing physical assault.

Lord Adebowale, chief executive of Turning Point, said: "Much of disability law focuses on physical disabilities and improving access to buildings, rather than challenging misconceptions and changing attitudes towards people with a learning disability."

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