Why Parity for Disability
The people who use Parity for Disability’s services have, typically, a very significant physical disability, and a learning need. These can also be accompanied with other sensory impairments. Most are unable to communicate using speech and need substantial support to express themselves.
Individuals with multiple disabilities have historically been on the margins of society, excluded from their local community and deprived of dignity and respect. On reaching adulthood most of the support they received as children in education and health disappears. They are left with little support to achieve a good quality of life.
The shortfall in provision of services for young people with multiple disabilities in our region was identified in a research study carried out in the mid-eighties.
Parity for Disability’s services have been developed to specifically focus on each individual, taking into account the person’s needs as a human being.
Personalisation at Parity for Disability
In the UK, social care is moving towards greater personalisation, choice and quality. Personalisation means that individuals receiving support have choice and control over that support.
Since the start of its services, Parity for Disability has pioneered one-to-one support for each person and a programme of activities tailored to the individual. Each person using Parity for Disability’s day services undertakes activities related to learning, developing independence, and recreation that are agreed through close consultation with themselves and their family or carer.
“In setting up the services, we looked at the whole person, and addressed what makes quality of life. We focused on what a person’s physical and psychological needs are. We wanted to ensure that the individual continued to have opportunities to learn, to develop, to have relationships. These things can get neglected.”
- Parity Executive Director Alison Cooper
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was used as a basis for developing the approach. This is a well-known theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow's theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology.
Parity for Disability employs keyworkers on a one-to-one basis and staff must demonstrate an empathy with disability issues and the person-centred approach. The keyworker develops a relationship with and understanding of the individual.
“As a society we believe all people have a right to a basic quality of life. Consider what this means for someone with a very significant physical disability who is unable to communicate by speech and relies on a skilled person to understand their ideas and wishes. If we really believe in equality, then, for people with profound levels of disability, it will only be achieved when we can offer them one-to-one support.
“All the people who use Parity’s services have high levels of disability. If someone is not actively supporting that person they will largely be just sitting there, totally isolated and ignored rather than exploring their potential and exercising control.”
- Parity Chairman Paul Roper
As the personalisation agenda evolves, and activities and resources in the community become more widely available, there will continue to be a need for a local base from which people with multiple disabilities can access different opportunities.
Staff at Parity for Disability ensure that the organisation stays in tune with and responds rapidly to the changing individual requirements of each person using its services.
Key Issues Facing People with Multiple Disabilities