* Voting rights
* Ownership of property
* Control of finances
* Consent to sex
In the United Kingdom, specific legislation that affects people with learning disabilities include: * Disability Discrimination Act
* Mental Health Act
* Community Care Act
* National Health Services Act
1.2 The laws and policies help to ensure that any person with a disability receives fair treatment, is not judged or discriminated against because of their disability. It affects their day to day living by: * Ensuring their voice is heard
* Ensuring they receive appropriate care
* Ensuring they can make their own choices
* Making them aware of their rights and entitlements
* Ensuring they are not discriminated against
* Protecting them from harm, abuse and injustice
2.1 Mencap defines ‘Learning Disability’ as a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life. 2.2 A learning disability occurs when the brain is still developing - before, during or soon after birth. * Before birth things can happen to the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) that can cause a learning disability. A child can be born with a learning disability if the mother has an accident or illness while she is pregnant, or if the unborn baby develops certain genes. Genes are chemicals in our bodies that contain information about us - like how we look. * A person can be born with a learning disability if he or she does not get enough oxygen during childbirth, or is born too early. * After birth, a learning disability can be caused by early childhood illnesses.
2.3 The medical model of disability views disability as a ‘problem’ that belongs to the disabled individual. It is not seen as an issue to concern anyone other than the individual affected. For example, if a wheelchair user is unable to get into a building because of some steps, the medical model would suggest that this is because of the wheelchair, rather than the steps. The social model of disability, in contrast, would see the steps as the disabling barrier. This model draws on the idea that it is society that disables people, through designing everything to meet the needs of the majority of people who are not disabled. There is a recognition within the social model that there is a great deal that society can do to reduce, and ultimately remove, some of these disabling barriers, and that this task is the responsibility of society, rather than the disabled person. 2.4 Among people who have a learning disability, about 50% of causes have been identified. In people with a severe or profound learning disability, the rate of unknown cases is 'approximately' 25%. 2.5 Having a family member being diagnosed with a learning disability can cause so many emotions: anger, denial, failure. Some family members may not accept the diagnoses and some may distance themselves, just when the main carer needs all the help and support they can get which in turn then makes them feel alone. There will be an information overload to begin with which can cause added stress but soon enough families come to terms with the diagnoses and are able to adapt to the individuals needs. There are plenty of organisations that can provide support and information such as Mencap. 3.1 There are many services that have been provided for individuals with learning disabilities these range from special needs schools and sports centres to rights and entitlements. There are also many charity run organisations that provide support,...