New Learning Disabilities Directory Will Be ‘Invaluable’

A new directory of things to do, opportunities and services will soon be published for people with learning disabilities in North Devon and Torridge. CARE Devon has been commissioned by Devon County Council to produce the directory, which will be available free from libraries, community hubs and drop in centres, Tourist Information Centres, and online at from September. Devon County Council and partner agencies support people with learning disabilities to lead full and active lives, so a comprehensive directory in an easy to use format is being widely welcomed.

The directory will be divided into categories: Adult Education and training; Advocacy; Community Hubs and Drop-In Information; Groups, Clubs and Friendships; Information Services; Leisure; Places to Live; Support for Employment; Support – people who can help; Things to Do; Transport; and Voluntary Services.

Councillor John Rawlinson, Devon County Council’s Executive Member for Adult and Community Services, said: “A directory of services in an easy to use format will be invaluable to people with learning disabilities, and their families and carers, and to other service providers.  We support a great many people to have as much independence as possible, and this will be a wonderful resource for people to refer to.”

Ruth Cohen, who has learning disabilities herself, has been involved with the directory since its conception, and is very positive about the benefits that it will bring to her peer group: “We need the directory to know about things. I have enjoyed helping CARE Devon make the directory.  Lots of people will be able to use it since we have made it easy to understand using pictures and symbols.”

Saki Hartas of CARE Devon, the charitable organisation that researched and is producing the directory, said: “The directory is still in its draft stage at the moment, but feedback so far has been very constructive. There is overwhelming support for a directory like this, and the finished product will be widely used. It would be fantastic to see the rest of Devon getting inspiration from the directory, and pushing their services forward. It has been an amazing and interesting journey to see how much support is available in the wider community.”