Governments mediate, through their architecture of machinery and policy, access to rights and, by extension, to services. There is limited but growing recognition in both the UK and other European governments that individuals' power to negotiate this access is limited by the structural inequality of groups in certain named categories of disadvantage (inter alia, people with disabilities), and they are adapting their machinery to provide the support they require to ‘level the playing field’. However, intersectionality (identities which cut across these recognised categories of disadvantage) prevents those affected from using such mechanisms effectively. Those whose disability impairs their mental awareness and understanding face an additional barrier. The paper explores how this limits the rights of those with both learning disabilities and mental illness, and looks at some of the ways in which this problem is being addressed.
Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2008
Keywords: Learning disabilities; Mental health needs; Equality; Human rights
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