Understanding Human Services for Individuals with Learning Disabilities

Speaker Notes

Slide 1

This slide provides for the topic: Understanding Human Services

Slide 2

Slide 2 introduces and provides for a background on the topic. The Disability Act of 2014 defines people with disabilities to include persons suffering from blindness, hearing impairments, vision impairments, loco- motor disability, mental illness and mental retardation. People with learning disabilities are people with neurologically- based processing problems. These problems interfere with basic learning skills such as reading and writing. These issues may also interfere with higher level skills such as time planning, attention and organization. These people face a lot of challenges both in society and hospital settings. The main tasks of the profession/ occupation group are to maintain or improve both the mental and physical status of the person and to reduce any barriers that would affect the independence of the person in concern.


Persons with disabilities have been provided for under the Disabilities Act of 2014. The Human Rights Act of 1998 provides for the equal and fair treatment of all persons, including persons with learning disabilities, in the access to quality health care. This is aimed at eliminating discrimination. No hospital or setting should impede the access to health amenities on the basis of their disability.

Slide 3

Slide 3 provides for the recommendations from the perspective of a learning disability nurse. These include:

Nurses should take time to understand the nature of the disability of the service user group. Such understanding would require the nurse to evaluate the user’s communication, understanding ability, retaining ability and balancing ability.

Learning disability nurses should always make decisions based on the best interests of the service user group.

Communication should be improved to include special communication techniques which would accommodate persons with learning disabilities. Persons with learning disabilities may require different communication techniques. For example, one can show story pictures instead of writings in order to promote understanding.

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Better nursing systems in hospitals should be implemented in a bid to eliminate any form of discrimination and stereotyping related to this service- user group.

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