“What Does Whole Life Mean?” – ‘In Control’ Conference, 3-4 November 2015, London

“What Does Whole Life Mean?” – ‘In Control’ Conference, 3-4 November 2015, London

In Control is a UK national charity working for an inclusive society where everyone has the support they need to live a good life and make a valued contribution. Inspired by the Independent Living movement, the networks aims include: working directly with people who need support, and with their families, providing them with the knowledge, power and tools to take control of their lives; influence and improve the delivery of self-directed support; as well as the development of innovative ways for people to be in control of their lives.

The event was challenging and exciting for the In Control members and allies. Among those attending were representatives of organisations and services, local authority children and adult services, health services, voluntary and community services and provider services. The event brought together the long-term programme of residential workshops for children’s members with members of the adults programme, health services, provider services, young people, our trustees and family members.

It was the first time focus was moved to a wider ‘whole life’ view, a start to think about how to build support around people of any age, those closest to them and their local communities.

Jamie Bolling from ENIL gave a presentation on how she sees the whole life perspective – “That which is shared between all ages of disabled people are expectations on what we are to be, do and how we are to live are lives”, she said. And continues – “If expectations are the same as for non-disabled people and services were provided as a human right, then disabled people could live the lives they choose. When expectations are not the same this allows for stigma and discrimination resulting in unfulfilled and wasted lives.”

Jamie gave the example of some of the barriers to independent living: social and cultural values of normalization, lack of services for equality, inaccessibility both for the environment and public transport as well as services organized without disabled people as the experts. She expressed the concern that too often it is care that is provided and not personalized services.

Here you can see the agenda for the event.

To read about In Control’s ‘A Life not a Service’ series of papers follow this link.

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