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Adults with Learning Difficulties face poor quality of future

23 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that adults with learning difficulties in the local Southern Area Trust, face a poor quality future because of the major changes proposed in the provision of day care for them.

Day care for adults with learning disabilities, both young and old, living in supported accommodation would have their provision of day care at places like the Laurels and SEC Rathfriland Hill Road removed early next year.

He also said that already people who had reached their 65th birthday were having their right to care removed.

The MLA has written to the Southern Area Trust asking to meet with them as a matter of urgency to discuss the issue.

Mr Brady said:

"Much needed local facilities such as Millview and SEC are facing the threat of closure early next year. Young people with special needs are very limited in their life choices. At 19 their lives should be just beginning, but they face a poor quality future. The loss of these important local facilities will be devastating.

"There needs to be a clear commitment to targeting social need demonstrated by directing resources equitably to ensure that this most vulnerable group is provided with the same opportunities and encouragement available to all others.

"The focus of learning disability services is to help people live an ordinary life in settings similar to other citizens by the provision of a range of imaginative and flexible services. Day-care provision is essential to provide self-esteem and to make the learning disabled feel part of life in general. They are enthused by their work, and it is sad that it should be taken away.

"The proposed withdrawal of those services is in the view of many an attack on the most vulnerable in our society and will cause further distress not only to them but to their families and carers." ENDS

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