Ability CEO to address Rio Conference

Published: 12 Aug 2013

Ability Housing Association Chief   Executive, David Williams, is to speak at the second International Forum on Inclusion, in Rio de Janeiro, later this month.

The 3-day conference at the State University of Rio de Janeiro brings together researchers, educators and professionals to discuss social inclusion for people with autism and multiple disabilities. David’spresentation on “Supported living as a route to social inclusion for people with learning disabilities” will showcase the work of Ability and other supported living providers in the UK.

The invitation to speak at the International Forum follows a study visit to the UK by a party from Brazil in 2010. During the study trip representativesof the Instituto Ann Sullivan visited several Ability managed supported living schemes and proclaimed themselves ‘astonished’ to see people with profound and multiple disabilities living relatively independently in their own homes.

David explains “I’ve been talking for many years about how supported living in self-contained homes promotes social inclusion. This in turn stimulates the development of independent living skills, even in people with the most profound impairments. These skills and personal developments have for too long been inhibited or masked within communal or shared living environments”.

“The study group understood this and saw the evidence with their own eyes. I was delighted therefore when I received notification that the Instituto Ann Sullivan had secured funding through UNESCO to sponsor my attendance at the International Forum”.

While in Rio, David will also speak at the launch of the new JNG Institute, which aims to develop social inclusion projects for young people with learning disabilities in Rio. He is also to be interviewed by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation).

Ability’s latest supported living development, Concorde House, opened in May in South Wimbledon. It marked the closure of the notorious Orchard Hill hospital campus, the last of the NHS hospital based campuses for people with learning disabilities in the UK.

Speaking at the opening event for Concorde House, Mr Williams said that “Concorde House represents the final piece of a jigsaw that should ensure that people with profound learning disabilities will no longer have their privacy, dignity, human rights or quality of life compromised”.

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