Supporting Autistic People and People with a Learning Disability

  • Thursday, 06 June 2024
  • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

To continue the drive for greater understanding and awareness surrounding learning disabilities, autism and neurodiversity, Open Forum Events invite you to attend the Supporting Autistic People and People with a Learning Disability conference. This established well-respected meeting will bring together renowned experts, professionals, and advocates to share insights, information, and best practices to review appropriate supportive services and promote a more inclusive society.


Delegates will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with learning disabilities and autistic people and the support needed to empower them to fully embrace their abilities and fulfil potential.


The conference agenda will feature a series of plenary presentations, delivered by expert speakers with both professional and personal experience. Interactive panels will encourage greater engagement and discussion, whilst informal networking sessions will foster knowledge sharing and the opportunity to connect with fellow attendees.


The Supporting Autistic People and People with a Learning Disability conference will once again deliver a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse community of professionals, educators, families, individuals with lived experiences and all other stakeholders with a collective commitment to induce change, enact improvements, and enrich lives.


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

  • Richard Mears, Regional Managing Director, Dimensions (UK) Ltd (confirmed)
  • Catherine McClennan, Director, Cheshire and Merseyside Women's Health and Maternity Partnership (confirmed)
"A Personal Case Study"

This presentation will give a personal case study perspective and how working collaboratively can bring about change.

  • Sam Forrester, Policy and Parliamentary Officer (Mental Health), National Autistic Society (confirmed)
"Reforming the Mental Health Act"

There are 2,030 autistic people and people with learning disabilities in mental health hospitals in England. It is widely acknowledged that hospitalisation is rarely helpful for autistic people – in fact, it can be deeply damaging. Reforming the outdated Mental Health Act will help address the ongoing crisis of inappropriate detentions and end the scandal of autistic people and people with learning disabilities being stuck in mental health hospitals.

  • Marie Cox, Senior Specialist – Autistic people & people with a learning disability, Care Quality Commission (confirmed)
  • Caroline Mulhall, Senior Specialist – Autistic people & people with a learning disability, Care Quality Commission (confirmed)
"The Single Assessment Framework, Autistic People and People with A learning disability"

During this session we will discuss how the CQC’s new Single Assessment Framework aims to improve how we assess and report on services for and used by autistic people and people with a learning disability.


Headline Sponsor


Question & Answer Session

Allocated planned time for speakers to receive questions from the audience and induce further discussion.



Coffee in the Networking Area


Case Study

  • Ashleigh Fox, RNLD, Transforming Care Director, Coach, Catalyst Care Group (confirmed)
  • Helen Watson, Transition Lead Organisation, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) (confirmed)
  • Sian Golding, Senior Nurse, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) (confirmed)
"Learning Through Transition, Sharing Good Practice of Transition from Child to Adult Learning Disability Services"

Sharing best practice of transition from child to adult services from practice guidance, research and case studies.


Harvey Range, Autism Advocate (confirmed)


Having spent 10 years in and out of mental health services as a child and teenager, Harvey Range reflects on his own experiences  and discusses potential improvements to the country’s  mental health services that would be beneficial to autistic people.


Case Study

Dimensions (confirmed)


Question and 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.


Chairs Afternoon Address


Case Study

  • Isabel Fallshaw-Daniels, Learning Disabilities and Vulnerabilities Specialist Organisation , London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (confirmed)
"Supporting Patients with Learning Disabilities and Autism in Emergency and Urgent Care."
  • Tracie Hamel, Lecturer in Criminology, Arden University (confirmed)
"Watchful Waiting? A Study of The Experiences of Parents Awaiting a Diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Condition"

The pre-diagnosis process for many families who suspect that their child has an Autistic Spectrum Condition can prove to be a particularly challenging time, one where various issue may arise. These issues can range from accessing support and managing their child's behaviour to eventually obtaining a diagnosis, which can be highly stressful and time-consuming. This presentation highlights how first-person accounts of being a caregiver for a child with Autism are beneficial in restructuring resources and advocates for more effective support systems for parents during the pre-diagnostic process.


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break

"Medication Management in older people with Intellectual Disabilities (MEMID)"

Globally, around 1 in 100 adults have intellectual disabilities (ID) (synonymous with learning disability in the UK) yet their needs in terms of healthcare in general and medication management in particular, are under-researched. The presentation highlights the work we conducted to gather evidence around medication management in older people with intellectual disabilities and to inform the research agenda in this area.


Closing Keynote Address

"Including Every Child in Early Years Education"

How to give children with SEND the best start.


Question and Answer Session


Chair's Closing Remarks and Event Close

  • 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.

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Luke Boulter
! ***NHS CUSTOMERS*** Please note that we are finding the ticket information is not being displayed across some organisations. If this is the case please get in touch on 0161 376 9007 and we can provide you the details, alternatively if you are using internet explorer to access this information please try an alternative browser e.g. Google Chrome where you might have more success.
  • Hear from an account of lived experience and recommendations to make improvements
  • Gain an understanding of how the new CQC Framework will impact service providers within the learning disability and autism sector
  • Be updated on the call for reform of the mental health act
  • Learn how to better support individuals transitioning into adult services
  • Listen to the findings of research into the experiences of parents awaiting a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum condition
  • Receive information on the challenges facing neurodiverse people entering the Criminal Justice System
  • Discover more about the role of the learning disability and vulnerabilities specialist within the ambulance service
  • Hear evidence on the barriers and facilitators of the medication management of older people with intellectual disabilities
  • Appreciate the challenges facing families requiring support for early years education for children with SEND
  • Listen to case studies and examples of best practice
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow professionals
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and peer to peer networking
  • Gain the maximum number of 8 CPD points
  • 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




Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre is the ideal solution when searching for conference venues in Manchester. Top-of-the-range conference suites, 3 star value hotel accommodation, delicious dining and friendly service are the ideal components for a successful conference or event in the heart of the city centre.

The 18 conference rooms are decked out with all the mod cons including state-of-the-art AV technology, projectors and screens, free Wi-Fi and flip charts. Our clients cover the whole spectrum and include government organisations, trade unions, large corporate companies, non-profit organisations, health and education sectors and small to medium-sized businesses.

From the get-go we strive for excellence in everything we do and our dedicated team of conference professionals go all out to make sure your conference, event or exhibition runs like clockwork.

Featured Events

  • Learning Disabilities and/or Autism London

    • 04 December 2024
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • Learning Disabilities & Autism 2020 Manchester

    • 12 March 2020
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester
  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties

    • 12 October 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes

    • 12 March 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • 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

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

Charity Lead
Clinical Commissioning Group/ICS/ICN member
Clinical Psychologist
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
DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) Co-Ordinator
Head of Commissioning
Head of Housing
Head of Supported Living

Heads of Learning Disability Services
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
Outreach worker
Personalisation and Self-Directed Support Team member
Probation Officer
Safeguarding Adults Board member
SEND Educational Leads
Senior Police Personnel
Support Worker