History

"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 potential
  • 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 where necessary
  • 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.