New resources published to help people with learning disabilities manage their money

what is a bank account

As more and more people with learning disabilities are accessing ordinary community services and using individual budgets to purchase their own support there is a need to produce good accessible materials.

To respond to this challenge, BILD, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities have recently published a range of materials, including written guides and DVDs looking at money skills. All the materials have been produced in line with the guidance published in 2010 by the Department of Health on making written information easier to understand for people with learning disabilities

The team from BILD worked with people with learning disabilities, family carers and support staff , including members of the ‘Our Way Self Advocacy’ group in Kidderminster, ‘Somerset Advocacy’ and ‘Options for Life’ in Sandwell to get a perspective on what people would find helpful.

As a result of these consultation,  BILD have produced

1.   An Information Pack designed to provide clear information about how to manage money with information on a range of topics , including opening and using a bank account, keeping track of money and budgeting.

2.   A Quick Guide – Banking Made Clear which gives instructions on topics how to set up a direct debit or standing order, or pay money into an account.

3.   A Resource Pack – which has activities to help volunteers, support workers and others to run successful money management sessions with people with learning disabilities, covering things like ‘using an ATM’ or choosing the right bank

3.   A Set of Videos which explain services that the banks provide. Find out more about the videos here.

In addition to the materials to support people with learning disabilities directly , the project team are also working on some materials for families and support staff  and some for staff in the bank, to help them work better with people with learning disabilities as their customers, which will be available shortly.


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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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