Dignity and people with learning disabilities

Hallawell, Bob (2011). Dignity and people with learning disabilities. In: Matiti, Milika Ruth and Baillie, Lesley eds. Dignity in Healthcare: A practical approach for nurses and midwives. Routledge, pp. 186–198.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781785230998-16


This chapter explores specific aspects of dignity related to the concept of learning disability and the particular context of the promotion of dignity within services designed to meet the needs of people with learning disabilities. People with learning disabilities have experienced a contravention of their dignity through a number of historical and social manifestations, and such breaches of dignity continue to this day. Although it is important to treat all individuals with dignity, there are some particular measures or strategies that may need to be put into place to promote the dignity of people with learning disabilities. Changes in thinking, policy and practice have led to the emergence of new, valued social roles for people with learning disabilities that foster choice, respect, rights and dignity. People with learning disabilities are a homogenous group, and, as such, dignity can be promoted through the recognition of each person as an individual with a unique personality, history and range of abilities.

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