Employment of adults with Learning Disabilities

We are launching a project focussed on understanding the experiences of people with learning disabilities in employment, and we want adults with learning disabilities (LD) living across Essex to get involved.

Figures show that 6% of working age adults with learning disabilities are employed in England. This figure is slightly higher in Essex where it is estimated that 16% of adults with LD are employed. Despite many members of this population being capable of work, the data shows that a significant majority fail to gain employment. This means that people with LD often miss out on the economic and health benefits associated with work.

These benefits have been examined within previous research projects. However, these studies regularly overlook the value of lived experience in exploring how people with LD understand work. As such, little is known about how people with LD experience and are affected by paid and unpaid employment.

Our latest research project aims to address this lack of knowledge. It will explore the paid and unpaid employment experiences of people with LD in Essex by:

  • Investigating how organisations and services support people with LD to find and retain employment.
  • Examining how workers with LD experience employment by assessing the impact of factors such as social interaction and rates of
  • Exploring the effect of work on quality of life and wellbeing.

We are keen to hear from people aged between 18 and 65 who have LD and can access adult social care services in Essex. Participants will ideally take part in an interview with the lead researcher, Dr Tom Kerridge. If participants cannot be interviewed, however, they may create diaries discussing their experiences of work. In taking part in these activities, participants will talk about their experiences of finding work, working with colleagues and interacting with employers, amongst other topics. Moreover, participants will be asked how employment has affected their ability to engage in activities that are important to them.

If you would like to take part in this research project please email the lead researcher, Dr Tom Kerridge: tom.kerridge@healthwatchessex.org.uk

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