Traditionally, participation in the local community has been considered a crucial component of community living for people with learning disabilities. As one of the key principles in Valuing People (DH, 2001), this concept ‐ now appearing as ‘inclusion’ ‐ has retained its prominence, and is an important area for service development and monitoring. In 1995, following the closure of a large long‐stay hospital, a survey of the community activities of a group of people with learning disabilities living in the community was undertaken. The study was repeated in 2005, for 18 people. For those individuals there was no difference in the frequency of community activities over the 10‐year period. The findings indicate that, for this group of people (people with more severe learning disabilities, requiring 24‐hour support), any aspirations that the frequency of participation in community activities would increase over time have not been met. This is in spite of the re‐focusing on ‘inclusion’ ‐ with the publication of the White Paper, Valuing People ‐ during this period.
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