'Nothing About Us Without Us'

Meeting the challenges of a national survey amongst people with learning difficulties

Professor Eric Emerson
Lancaster University
Dr Sally Malam
Lucy Joyce
and
Jim Muir
BMRB Social Research and Central England People First

Introduction

In March 2001 the Government White Paper 'Valuing People: a new strategy for learning disability for the 21st century' was published. This was the first White Paper in 30 years concerning services for people with learning difficulties, and many things had changed in that time. One important issue highlighted in the White Paper was the lack of national information available on people with learning difficulties. Much information was based on estimates, and whilst there had been qualitative research carried out among this group, there had never been a nationally representative survey.