Please note that this event is now finished

Supporting People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People

  • Thursday, 09 November 2023
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

Open Forum Events is pleased to introduce the latest addition to their burgeoning portfolio of national public sector events by announcing a new Supporting People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People conference, which will take place in London in November 2023.

This biannual meeting, now in its 9th year, will continue the dialogue to improve the lives of people with a learning disability or learning impairment and autistic people.

In 2022 the government published the policy paper, Building the Right Support Action Plan, which sets out commitments to enable people access the right support to meet their needs. The plan recommends changes in the way services are accessed and care is received in the community, hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Join us at the Supporting People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People  conference where the very latest policies and strategies will be reviewed, examples of best practice will be shared and lived experience will be heard.

Attendees will hear from a line-up of expert speakers who will discuss challenging topics, debate contentious issues and analyse the way forward. Interactive question and answer sessions will consolidate knowledge sharing, whilst casual networking will create connections.

Gain a true understanding of the current thinking which can be applied and positively contribute to your own circumstances, organisations and working practices to improve the lives of all those touched by learning disability and/or autism.

Places are limited and this highly popular event sells out fast, so BOOK YOUR PLACE TODAY.


This conference is designed to induce change with knowledge, innovation, and inspiration.
Any transformation of a process or service requires the input of products and services devised to make improvements such as digital technologies; training provision; workforce planning; outsourced services; data and analytics etc.
If your organisation supports change through your products and services, our delegates and conference participants will be ready to engage with you.

  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address


Keynote Address

  • Simone Aspis, Manager, Free Our People Now Campaign (confirmed)
  • Sanneke Fidler, Volunteer Lead , Free Our People Now Campaign (confirmed)
"Why Free Our People Now Campaign?"
  • The Voice that never gets heard where it matters (strategic level) – Inpatients and people with lived experience of hospital detention.
  • What is FOPN doing now?
  • What change do we want to see?  
"Why are we stuck in hospital?"

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the number of autistic people and people with a learning disability living in long-stay hospitals. Recently, there has been a growth in people admitted to so-called ‘assessment and treatment units’, with allegations that some people stay here for far too long. A joint research project has been undertaken to better understand the experiences of people with a learning disability who have been stuck in long-stay hospital settings, their families and front-line staff – using this knowledge to create practice guides and training materials to support new understandings and new ways of working.

  • Shaunie Picken, Consultant and Champion, My Life My Choice (confirmed)
  • Pam Bebbington, Consultant and Champion, My Life My Choice (confirmed)
"Don’t Lock Us Away Campaign"

We are disgusted that people with learning disabilities are still being trapped in long stay hospitals. We think everyone should have support to live in the community – not be locked away!
We believe the government is not doing enough to make this happen. This is how our campaign is working to get the government to close assessment treatment units, build the right homes and get people home.



Case Study

  • Stephen Adamson, Health & Sports Ambassador, Unity Advocacy Group; Achieve Together (confirmed)
  • Michael Fullerton, Director of Wellbeing, Strategy & Collaboration, Achieve together (confirmed)
"RESPECT Model of Support"

Ensuring a clear, visionary model of support is critical to ensure people who have learning disabilities, and/or autistic people enjoy a ‘good life’. At Achieve together, the RESPECT model of support is designed to enable people to flourish in their lives, with clarity of direction. People we support may have experienced life in highly restrictive settings, hospital inpatient services or numerous types of accommodation. This presentation focuses on how the RESPECT model of support can mean stability and certainty in people’s lives, as discussed by Michael Fullerton (Director of Wellbeing, Strategy & Collaboration in Achieve together) and Stephen Adamson (Sports Ambassador, Unity Advocacy Group).


Question & Answer Session


Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

"Moving On"

This presentation will discuss key parts of somebody we supports transition; what has gone well, what hasn’t, what we do currently to maintain good practice, and what we would change if we were to do it all over again. This will be followed by insights from a parent and an opportunity to ask questions.

  • Amanda Korny, Learning Disability: LD/ASD Children and Young Persons Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), Saint Mary’s SARC ISVA Service (confirmed)
  • Evie McCulloch, ISVA Team Lead, Saint Mary’s SARC ISVA Service (confirmed)
"Supporting people with Autism and Learning disabilities after Rape and Sexual Assault: Navigating the Criminal Justice Process"

How ISVA’s work with people who have Autism and Learning Disabilities after they have suffered Rape and Sexual Assault. Helping them to navigate the Criminal Justice System and attempting to break barriers to justice.

  • Jane Fellowes, Student Wellbeing Adviser, Student Wellbeing Partnerships Service , Lancaster University (confirmed)
  • Danielle Coleman, Student Wellbeing Adviser, Student Wellbeing Partnerships Service , Lancaster University (confirmed)
"Transition Support for Autistic Students"

The Lancaster University Transitions Team offer a range of provision for autistic and neurodivergent students. Smart Start, our pre-arrival residential programme, provides early support for incoming autistic students to settle in, connect with others, and develop skills to support their wellbeing at university.
Our presentation will look at impact of Smart Start on participants, how the programme has developed through the years, and how the residential is complemented by our suite of ongoing pastoral provision to support the student journey into, through, and out of university.


Case Study

"Breaking the ‘revolving door’ scenario in adult social care services"

In this session we will discuss the ‘revolving door scenario’ of placement breakdowns in LD settings, looking at typical scenarios where individuals with complex needs are finding themselves in the wrong placements, such as in Assessment & Treatment Units (ATU’s) or Nursing Care home settings. In the session you will learn why Home From Home Care’s model of operation is different with their unique NewModel of care and transparent care solutions - stopping the ‘revolving door’ through innovative and ground-breaking technology, supporting the most vulnerable and complex individuals in our society to successful outcomes.


Question & Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area

A hot, two-course lunch consisting of multiple options will be provided for delegates. We cater for all dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy-free; just notify us ahead of time should you have any allergens or requirements.


Chair's Afternoon Address


Case Study

"NSPCC School Resources and Programmes for SEND Students"

The NSPCC Schools Service has a range of programmes and resources available for SEND pupils. Our Speak Out. Stay Safe. and new Talk Relationships programmes have been specially tailored for SEND students to deliver key messages to promote the safety and wellbeing of all children.

  • Daniel Stavrou, Assistant Director - Education and Equalities, NCB (confirmed)
"The SEND and AP Improvement Plan"

The Government published the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan Right Support, Right Place, Right Time in response to the SEND Green paper that was published in March 2022 and proposed a number of reforms to the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and alternative provision (AP) system.

This session will explore what the proposed changes mean from the perspective of children and young people with SEN and Disabilities. It will interrogate whether the proposals will bring about the change really needed to ensure all pupils are able to access the right support when they need it.


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break

"Co-occurring Health Challenges for Autistic People and those with Learning Disabilities"

Why do cooccurring health challenges matter in autism and those with learning disabilities? This session touches on the groundbreaking new scientific evidence on the issues of physical health particularly affect autistic health and wellbeing. This is rarely understood or considered until recently. Looking at the most common symptoms and conditions but also what they may appear as to others.


Closing Keynote Address

  • Ciara Lawrence, Mencap Engagement Lead , Learning disability Charity Mencap (confirmed)
  • William Kettle, Office Assistant, Royal Mencap Society (confirmed)
"Afternoon Key Note – Our Work at Mencap and Learning Disability"

In our key note speech we will talk about our job roles at Mencap and we will talk about learning disability and our experiences



Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks


Event Close

  • Register for event

You can no longer register for this event
  • Contact Details
  • News
  • Sponsors
  • Supporters
  • Venue
  • Featured Events
  • Downloads
  • Who will attend

Contact Details


  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties Report

    • Posted on 18 October 2017
    • by James Wright
  • Going Places: supporting people with learning disabilities and autism into work and in the workforce

    • Posted on 25 February 2019
    • by Diane Lightfoot




The Royal National Hotel, London

The Royal National Hotel, London

Offering breathtaking views across Russell Square the hotel is within easy walking distance to the British Museum. Well located with Russell Square underground station a 2 minute walk away.

Featured Events

  • Living Well with Autism: Beyond the Limitations

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

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

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

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

    • 13 March 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:00
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes

    • 12 March 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • The 7th Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes Conference

    • 24 September 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • ETC.Venues Prospero House, London
  • Learning Disabilities & Autism 2020 Manchester

    • 12 March 2020
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Equality and Empowerment

    • 09 November 2021
    • 08:30 - 17:00
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities and/or Autism: Choice, Inclusion, Control and Independence

    • 21 April 2022
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities and/or Autism: Enabling Change- Delivering Improvement

    • 01 December 2022
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • Supporting Autistic People and/or People with a Learning Disability

    • 13 June 2023
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

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.
  • Lancaster
  • Speaker Presentations. LD&A
    Speaker Presentations. LD&A

who will attend

  • Carer
  • Charity Lead
  • Clinical Commissioning Group/ICS/ICN member
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Councillor
  • Director of Adult Mental Health Services
  • Director of Adult Social Services
  • Director of Adult/Children Safeguarding
  • Director of Community / Domiciliary Care
  • Director of Disability Services
  • Director of Older People's Services
  • Director of Public Health
  • Director of Supported / Sheltered Housing
  • Director/Head CAHMS Services
  • Director/Manager of Care Homes
  • Directors of Children Services
  • Doctor
  • DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) Co-Ordinato
  • Head of Commissioning
  • Head of Housing
  • Head of Supported Living
  • Heads of Learning Disability Services
  • Headteacher
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards member
  • Health Visitor
  • Learning Disability / Disability Liaison Nurse
  • Learning Disability Service Managers
  • Learning Disability/Autism Lead
  • Local Authority Chief Executive
  • Neighbourhood and Community Policing Team member
  • Nurse
  • Outreach worker
  • Personalisation and Self-Directed Support Team member
  • Probation Officer
  • Safeguarding Adults Board member
  • SEND Educational Leads
  • Senior Police Personnel
  • Support Worker