VoiceAbility Resources

Within VoiceAbility, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Wherever possible, we try to harness that knowledge and create tools that others can use. 

On the page below you can find our most recent publications. 

You can also view our videos here

Challenge Guidance

Front page cover for the Challenge GuidanceThis guide for advocates provides comprehensive information to support professionals to help individuals to decide on the most appropriate route to take to challenge decisions.

The Challenge Guidance will help advocates to develop a ‘tool-kit’ of different approaches in order to get the best possible outcome for people depending on their views and situation. The Guide will be an important reference for all practitioners across the health and social care sectors as well as for friends and family members who often take on the crucial role of supporting people to raise their own concerns, or challenge decisions on their behalf, where necessary.

The guide provides essential reference materials, case examples and references to relevant Articles within Acts and Statutory Guidance; and aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of those challenging decisions in often, very complex situations.

The Guidance provides detailed information on the spectrum of methods to resolve issues including:

  • Taking an informal approach to challenge; when this is most appropriate and the skills required to be effective, including negotiating and influencing;
  • Formal routes to challenge; under the Mental Capacity Act 2005; Mental Health Act 1983; and Care Act 2014 as well as formal complaints processes and judicial review.

 VoiceAbility worked closely with Empowerment Matters, Irwin Mitchell LLP, Dr Lucy Series and Steven Richards from Edge Consultancy and Training to produce the Challenge Guidance, with substantial advice and input from advocates at VoiceAbility.

How to stay safe from Domestic Abuse

lady comforting someone with a broken armEvery minute a domestic violence-related call is made to the police. What about those people who don't or can't make that call? We have been working with the Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership to create an Easy Read leaflet for adults with learning disabilities and their friends and families about how to stay safe from domestic abuse. 

The leaflet was written following research by the Speak Out Council and was prepared in collaboration with Speak Out Council's members, supported by VoiceAbility's Consultancy and Training team. 

Don't be silent on sexual abuse

The aim of the booklet is to raise awareness of what sexual abuse is, that it is never the victim's fault and that there are people that can support them to keep safe.

This is a very sensitive situation, in which all agencies involved in the safeguarding of people with learning disabilities need to make sure people are supported in the best possible way. It is crucial that all professionals are fully trained to understand the needs of people with learning disabilities in these situations. This self-help booklet will provide very vulnerable individuals and their families with guidance on ways to cope with how they are feeling and how to get professional help. 

VoiceAbility has worked with Cambridgeshire’s Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Partnership to create this booklet. This booklet was commissioned following concerns hightlighted by Rape Crisis and raised by members of VoiceAbility's Speak Out Council, a representative group of people with learning disabilities and autism in Cambridgeshire. 

Parents Booklet

front cover of the parents bookletWhat happens if Children's Services feel your child is at risk of harm?

The booklet explains in easy to understand words and pictures:

  • Who normally makes decisions about child protection
  • What happens when Children’s Services get involved
  • The Child Protection Process
  • What happens at different meetings
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • What happens in court 
  • Different legal orders
  • Adoption and Fostering processes

This booklet was written for, and by, parents who have learning disabilities.

Safeguarding Information Sheets

safeguarding pictureIf the council think someone has hurt you, they may want to find out what happened. They will also want to know how they can make sure you are safe.

This is sometimes called ‘Safeguarding’.

The council will have a responsibility to find out what has happened. This is called an “enquiry”. They may ask someone else, like a hospital, to do this for them. As part of this, they may want to talk to you if you have been hurt by accident or on purpose.

Below, you can find information sheets on what you can expect from a safeguarding enquiry, for yourself, or a friend or relative.