Eight stories in film showing people with learning disabilities living their own lives


Living your own life in your own home is something most of take for granted. It’s just something you do. We don’t tend to think about community, or independent living, or planning, we get on with it. This is not always the case for people with learning disabilities.

In this post, we wanted to link you to some excellent films that have just been published by Inclusive Films. In some ways they are not remarkable, as they are telling quite ordinary stories.

Living your own life

The films tell what could be described as quite ordinary stories.

The films tell what could be described as quite ordinary stories.

The films follow the stories of eight people with learning disabilities or autism who have moved into their own homes, with each story featuring a particular kind of support and living arrangement. They provide good clear evidence of what it might take to support people and show a range of different ways to do this.

For example, one film shows two people who live as part of a shared lives scheme. We posted previously about ways in which shared lives schemes could reduce costs and provide a focus for achieving greater independence.

Another living arrangement shown in the film is an extra care housing scheme.   Extra care schemes usually consist of a block of 20-40 flats or bungalows, sometimes with some shared facilities and with a warden for support. They are usually developed for older people, but some younger people with learning disabilities also choose such schemes as a place to live.

Two people also move into their own bungalow, which they rent from the local authority along with staff support on a flexible arrangement and one film shows how one person was able to significantly increase their choices and the control they had over their life after leaving a care home for their own flat.

The films are a great way to bring these stories to life and create a personal connection to the stories.

Films create a personal connection to the stories and bring them to life

Films create a personal connection to the stories and bring them to life


A Real Home A Real Life: Stories about eight people with learning disabilities or autism, Inclusive films


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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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