Learning Disabilities and Autism: Tackling Inequalities and Promoting Opportunities

  • Wednesday, 16 September 2020
  • Central Manchester
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

In more recent times the learning disability and autism sector has deservedly been the focus of greater attention. With approximately 1.5 million people in the UK with a learning disability and 1% of the population with an autism spectrum condition it is a continuing process to make things better for those that are living with or affected by learning disability and/or autism.

Open Forum Events has and enviable reputation for hosting highly informative, practical and thought-provoking meetings, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss, debate and help formulate future policy and action.

The Learning Disabilities and Autism: Improving Care conference will be no exception in continuing to drive the agenda to improve lives.

There has been some significant activity and new developments in recent months and this conference, with the insightful contributions from the expert speakers, will provide delegates with updates on:

  • How the NHS investment of £5 million will improve the care for people with a learning disability and the action plan to reduce unavoidable and premature deaths based on the data from the Learning Disability Mortality Review.
  • Two reports highlighting the concerns for people that have been hospitalised in mental health facilities, often on a long-term basis many miles from home, and the treatment and care practices they are subject to including segregation and restraint.
  • The positive steps being taken to improve outcomes including training for professional staff, recognising and reducing discrimination, alleviating isolation, curbing overzealous medicating and showcasing inspirational influence.

As we enter 2020 join us at the Learning Disabilities and Autism: Improving Care conference with the hope that by the end of the decade, if not sooner, inequalities will be a thing of the past for people with learning disability and/or autism.

In May 2019, NHS England announced an extra £5 million of funding specifically to care for people with a learning disability. The prime concerns include the scale of premature deaths of people with learning disabilities and/or autism, based on the latest data that has revealed that individuals are dying 25 years earlier than the general population. The NHS is committed to carrying out reviews improve care and take action nationally to tackle serious conditions. 

To further enhance care and treatment, the Department of Health and Social Care has undergone a consultation focusing on specialist training for health and care professionals to better understand the needs of people and make the necessary adjustments to support them.

A report by the Children’s Commissioner has revealed harrowing evidence of children, particularly those who are autistic or have a learning disability, being unnecessarily admitted to secure hospitals, some spending prolonged periods in these institutions, often a long way from home, family and friends. Some of the practices these children are subjected to are significantly disturbing with the report describing the use of restraint and seclusion. The Commissioner described these children as "some of the most vulnerable children of all, with very complex needs, growing up in institutions usually far away from their family home. For many of them this is a frightening and overwhelming experience. For many of their families it is a nightmare."
In another hospital report, undertaken by the CQC, it warns that patients with learning disabilities and autism are being let down by a ‘broken’. Prolonged segregation, wards unsuitable for autistic patients and a lack of training of staff were just some of the issues highlighted.

Within the community there are also situations that need to be overcome which include discrimination, prejudice and hate crime. The charity United Response has launched a campaign ‘Am I Your Problem’ to challenge the general public to consider the harm they may be inflicting on people with learning disabilities and autism through their actions and behaviour.
Prejudicial attitudes can also be a factor in social withdrawal, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation. One scheme to try and combat this is fronted by Ambitions about Autism. Young people form the charity have launched a new resource to help other young autistic people to access youth groups and after school activities.

Other positive action to improve people’s situations is the continuing STOMP programme dedicated to reducing the use of psychotic medication to treat challenging behaviour. The use of technology is also a force for good and can support people to access the care they need, remain as independent as possible and help connect to social networks.

There is plethora of pioneering work being done and significantly a great deal is being undertaken by those who have a learning disability and /or autism themselves and therefore have the best understanding of what is required to make improvements.

This conference is the next installment, in a series of highly insightful events, focusing on improving care, support and life chances for all those living with or affected by learning disabilities and/or autism.

Read more
  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Register for event

Having difficulty paying through Eventbrite? If you would like assistance registering your place please contact me on 0161 376 9007 and i'll be happy to assist. If you are awaiting funding you can request us to hold your place today to ensure you do not miss out.

Discounts for 3 or more delegates are available.

Want to pay by invoice? If you select your tickets and click on the green Register button. Once you’re through to the registration page, you can switch payment method from Credit/ Debit Card to Pay by Invoice

Luke Boulter
  • Hear how people with learning disabilities can be supported to maximise their life chances and fulfil their true potential
  • Learn how the transformation of services and the support provided is allowing for greater opportunities to self-advocate and make choices
  • Gain insight into how the rights of people with learning disabilities can be defended and upheld
  • Understand how the issues of healthcare inequalities can be addressed and the same level of protection is assured as experienced by the rest of the population
  • Gain knowledge of the steps needed to be taken to co-ordinate care, support and treat children and young people with complex needs (and behaviour that challenges), also involving mental health problems and learning disabilities and/or autism
  • Listen to the measures being taken to support independent living and how housing and accommodation initiatives are crucial to successful outcomes
  • Examine the current situation for people nearing the end of their lives and discuss how things can be improved
  • Listen to examples of initiatives and activities that can boost the quality of life for people with learning disability
  • With life expectancy improving and more people living into their later years, learn how dementia is impacting
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow professionals
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking
  • Gain the maximum number of 7 CPD points.
  • Contact Details
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details




Central Manchester

Central Manchester


Featured Events

  • Living Well with Autism: Beyond the Limitations

    • 28 May 2015
    • 08:00 - 13:30
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities

    • 01 June 2016
    • 08:30 - 14:00
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties

    • 12 October 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities

    • 31 January 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:15
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives

    • 13 March 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:00
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Social Care Reform: Improving Care and Support for Older People

    • 01 November 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • The 7th Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes Conference

    • 24 September 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • ETC.Venues Prospero House, London
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes

    • 12 March 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities & Autism 2020 Manchester

    • 12 March 2020
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester

Downloads & Resources

  • Open Forum Events Sponsorship Brochure
    Open Forum Events offer a number of partnership, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that can meet your marketing and business development needs.

who will attend

  • Carer
  • Clinical Commissioning Group member
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Councillor
  • Direct Payment Team member
  • Director / Manager of Care Homes
  • Director of Adult Mental Health Services
  • Director of Adult Safeguarding
  • Director of Adult Social Services
  • Director of Community / Domiciliary Care
  • Director of Disability Services
  • Director of Older People's Services
  • Director of Public Health
  • Director of Supported / Sheltered Housing
  • Doctor
  • DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) Co-Ordinator
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards member
  • Health Visitor
  • Learning Disability / Disability Liaison Nurse
  • Neighbourhood and Community Policing Team member
  • Nurse
  • Outreach worker
  • Personalisation and Self-Directed Support Team member
  • Probation Officer
  • Safeguarding Adults Board member
  • Senior Police Personnel
  • Support Worker