The National Supporting Autistic People and People with a Learning Disability Conference

  • Wednesday, 04 December 2024
  • The Royal National Hotel, London
  • 08:30 - 16:30
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

Join us at the National Supporting Autistic People and People with a Learning Disability Conference 2024 which will seek to foster a deeper understanding of the challenges that autistic people and people living with a learning disability experience, advocate for inclusivity and support and demolish the barriers preventing individuals the opportunity to thrive and succeed.  

Open Forum Events has an 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. This bi-annual meeting, now in its 10th year will bring together educators, researchers, healthcare professionals, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates to forward the knowledge agenda and continue the conversations as to how lives can be improved.

The programme is devised to further the knowledge agenda and features addresses from expert contributors tasked with developing policy and practices, as well as professionals facilitating practical interventions and effective strategies to support and improve circumstances. Furthermore, as part of the speaker line up, we are privileged to have presenters with lived experience who will highlight the realities of their lives and their aspirations for the future.

Delegates will have the opportunity to exchange insights, experiences, and best practices through a series of discussion and debate sessions during the plenary sessions with further interaction facilitated through casual networking breaks.

Book you place today at the National Supporting Autistic People and People with a Learning Disability Conference 2024 and be part of the narrative to make a difference and induce positive change.

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


Joanne McAllister, Group Head of Patient/Service User Experience Nurse, Northern Care Alliance NHS FT (invited)

"A Person Centred Journey"

This presentation will describe a family’s person-centred journey with their daughter to provide independent supported living of her choice. Overcoming many challenges over the years and becoming expert (to some extent) captains of navigating the complexities of both the Health & Social care system

  • Adanna Williams, Deputy Director of Nursing PSD- Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Autism and SEND, BAME Network Regional Chair, NHS England – South East (confirmed)
"Addressing Inequalities, Discrimination, Stigma, and Bias Faced by Individuals with Learning Disabilities"

This presentation addresses the critical issues of inequalities, discrimination, stigma, and bias faced by individuals with learning disabilities. I will explore tis over 6 key themes:
1. Education and Awareness
2. Policy and Legal Reforms
3. Support Systems
4. Community and Peer Support
5. Research and Data
6. Advocacy and Empowerment

Objective: To highlight the challenges, examine root causes, and propose actionable solutions to create a more inclusive and equitable society.



Sharing Best Practice

  • Wendy Ewins, Head of Commissioning, Case Management and Keyworking for People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (confirmed)
"Avoiding Inappropriate Admission to Mental Health Hospitals"

The NHS is spending more than half a billion pounds per year to detain people with learning disabilities and autistic people in mental health hospitals, according to new research. However, there are some examples of best practice where trusts are preventing people from being admitted to hospital.


Main 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

  • Sarah Goff, Researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University Co-chairs National Working Group on Safeguarding Disabled Children, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed)
"Safeguarding from Abuse and Exploitation"

This presentation will share new research findings and will include details on modern day slavery, criminal exploitation plus sexual safety and relationships.

  • Laura West, Global Professional Instructor, The Crisis Prevention Institute (confirmed)
  • Grace Hathaway, Global Professional Instructor, CPI (confirmed)

Case Study


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

"Discrimination and Bias in the Recruitment Process"

This presentation will describe the lived experience of applying to the STP and interviewing in the NHS and the discrimination and bias experienced.


Andy Williams, Director of Involvement, Revolving Doors (invited)

"Neurodiversity and the Criminal Justice System"

For someone with a neurological condition, coming into contact with the criminal justice system can be frustrating and confusing. In many cases it seems to be an experience that leaves offenders with neurological conditions little opportunity to turn their lives around.


Question and Answer Session


Afternoon Refreshment Break


Dr Gemma Williams, Researcher, Swansea University (invited)

"Combatting Loneliness and Isolation"

Autistic people are four times more likely to be lonely than those who are neurotypical, according to a new study.


Closing Keynote Address

  • Kimberley Ashwin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Autism Consultant Nurse, Autism Oxford UK (confirmed)
"Autism Suicide Prevention"

Exploring the missed opportunities to save individuals lives due to the diagnostic overshadowing experienced.


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.

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
! ***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 people with a learning disability and autistic people are supported within the NHS 
  • Discover more about successful practice to avoid inappropriate admissions to mental health hospitals
  • Understand how to safeguard children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
  • Listen a lived experience of discrimination and bias within the recruitment process
  • Receive information on the challenges facing neurodiverse people entering the Criminal Justice System
  • Appreciate then impacts of loneliness and isolations for people with a learning disability and autistic people
  • Learn about innovative programmes making a difference to people’s lives
  • 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
  • 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

  • Supporting Autistic People and/or People with a Learning Disability

    • 13 June 2023
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties

    • 12 October 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities & Autism 2020 Manchester

    • 12 March 2020
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • King’s House Conference Centre, Manchester
  • 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
  • Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities

    • 01 June 2016
    • 08:30 - 14:00
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Living Well with Autism: Beyond the Limitations

    • 28 May 2015
    • 08:00 - 13:30
    • 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

  • 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-Ordinator
  • 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