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EDITIONS
 Panorama
The White Paper
Tony Blair
The Prime Minister set out the government's challenge
The government published a White Paper in March 2001 outlining its strategy for people with learning disabilities.

It spoke of helping families with disabled children with extra care and support and of Tony Blair's determination to meet this challenge.


Here is what the Prime Minister said when the bill was published:

"People with learning difficulties can lead full and rewarding lives as many already do.

"But others find themselves pushed to the margins of our society. And almost all encounter prejudice, bullying, insensitive treatment and discrimination at some time in their lives.

"Such prejudice and discrimination - no less hurtful for often being unintentional - has a very damaging impact.

"It leads to your world becoming smaller, opportunities more limited, a withdrawal from wider society, so time is spent only with family, carers or other people with learning disabilities.

"What is also a real cause for concern and anxiety is the fact that many parents of learning disabled children face difficulties in finding the right care, health services, education and leisure opportunities for their sons and daughters.

Progress
Valuing People White Paper
The paper was launched in March 2001
It sets out the Government's commitment to improving the lives of those with learning disabilities

"At best they can feel obstacles are constantly put in their way by society. At worst they feel abandoned by the rest of us.

"We have to change this situation if we are to achieve our goal of a modern society in which everyone is valued and has the chance to play their full part.

"There has been progress - often through the efforts of families, voluntary organisations and people with learning disabilities themselves.

"But a great deal more needs to be done.

"This White Paper sets out the Government's commitment to improving the life chances of people with learning disabilities.

"It shows how we will meet this commitment by working closely with local councils, the health service, voluntary organisations and most importantly with people with learning disabilities and their families to provide new opportunities for those with learning disabilities to lead full and active lives.

"I know the publication of a White Paper, however good its proposals, does not itself solve the problems.

"The challenge is for us all to deliver the vision set out in this document so the lives of many thousands of people with learning disabilities will be brighter and more fulfilling.

"It is a challenge I am determined this Government will meet."

"

Panorama asks why the families of disabled children appear to have been forgotten


Background

Information


Links to more Panorama stories are at the foot of the page.


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