Page last updated at 22:32 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 23:32 UK

Disabled adults 'face inequality'

Many adults with learning disabilities live at home with their carers

Adults with learning difficulties who live at home have become "invisible" because many councils are not providing enough support, a report has claimed.

The Quarriers study found many adults with learning disabilities living at home had access to fewer services than those in supported accommodation.

The report also said there was a lack of tailored, personal life plans for adults in some local authority areas.

Christine Grahame MSP said the study had highlighted "stark inequalities".

In 2000, a review recommended that councils and health boards set up registers of adults with disabilities.

However, the report found that only three of 11 councils which responded to the survey had distinguished between people receiving and those not receiving a service.

One local authority reported that "they did not know if people were dead or just not getting a service".

Quarriers have made six recommendations, including ensuring that everyone who wants a personal life plan can have one and making the collection of data by local authorities a priority.

Our challenge is to acknowledge the 'hidden' people in our communities and ensure they are no longer missing out
Phil Robinson
Quarriers chief executive

Report author Lucy Johnston also called for the development of programmes on how to manage budgets, information on housing support services and the development of respite services for carers.

She said: "Opportunity, choice and service availability should not be driven by where a person lives or with whom they live.

"Adults with learning disabilities who live at home, often into middle age and beyond, have a right to equal access to the services and support they need to lead as independent and as full a life as possible."

Phil Robinson, chief executive of Quarriers, said: "People with learning disabilities living in the family home have become the invisible.

"Their needs and aspirations and those of the families who care for them are unknown, their future requirements disregarded and their right to recognition and resources ignored.

"Our challenge is to acknowledge the 'hidden' people in our communities and ensure they are no longer missing out."

Christine Grahame MSP, convener of Holyrood's health and sport committee, said: "The report highlights the stark inequalities in council services available to adults living at home with learning difficulties.

"Action is needed to improve the support people receive, regardless of where they live, to ensure they can continue to live independently as they are entitled to expect."

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