"People with a learning disability are among the most vulnerable
in society, and the Welsh Government is committed to improving
their way of life."
The current Learning Disability Advisory Group (LDAG) was set up
in 2012 by Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services
within Welsh Government at that time. A number of people with an
interest in improving the lives of people with a learning
disability and those who support them in Wales were invited by the
Deputy Minister to join the group.
The group meets regularly to discuss issues and provide advice
to Welsh Government to help shape policy and practice in
Wales. A number of sub-groups have been set up to look at
particular topics and progress the group's workstreams. These sub-groups
include people with relevant knowledge and expertise from outside
the Learning Disability Advisory Group.
The first Learning Disability Advisory Group was set up in 1999
by the National Assembly for Wales to
prepare a draft service framework for people with a learning
disability in Wales. The work of this original group is summarised
in the report Fulfilling the Promises, published in 2001. The
group was later replaced by the Learning Disability Implementation Advisory Group
(LDIAG), set up in 2002 to oversee the Welsh Government's
response to Fulfilling the Promises. The group's remit was to
ensure that learning disabilities remained high on the agenda in
Wales, advise Welsh Government on learning disability issues and
promote the rights of people with a learning disability.
The LDIAG was instrumental in the development of Welsh
Government's Statement on Policy and Practice for
Adults with a Learning Disability (2007). The group aimed to
build on the vision set out in this important document.
"All people with a learning disability are full citizens, equal
in status and value to other citizens of the same age. They have
the same rights to:
- live healthy, productive and independent lives with appropriate
and responsive treatment and support to develop their maximum
- be individuals and decide everyday issues and life-defining
matters for themselves joining in all decision-making which affects
their lives, with appropriate and responsive advice and support
- live their lives within their community, maintaining the social
and family ties and connections which are important to them
- have the support of the communities of which they are a part
and access to general and specialist services that are responsive
to their individual needs, circumstances and preferences."
In 2009 the LDIAG submitted a draft Action Plan to Welsh
Government based on the Statement on Policy and Practice for Adults
with a Learning Disability (2007). Unfortunately, due to budget
constraints, Welsh Government decided not to publish the Action
Plan. However, the Deputy Minister for Social Services did
highlight six actions from the draft plan that Welsh Government
wanted to take forward. The LDIAG decided that a new group should
be set up to take forward these actions and advise Welsh Government
on issues influencing the lives of people with a learning
disability and the people who support them. The LDIAG met for the
last time in September 2010 and the current Learning Disability
Advisory group was set up in 2012.