Community Health Champions | Tel: 01782 683030 | [email protected]

The Power of Small Changes | Supporting people with learning disabilities and autism

How to best support people with learning disabilities or autism at your service of Place of Welcome.

Everyone with a learning disability and, or, autism, deserves to live a longer, healthier and more independent life.

In Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, people with a learning disability and, or, autism, have told the ICS that they want to feel listened to, supported, and understood, when using health services.

If everyone made a small change to support people with a learning disability and, or autism, so many more people would have a positive experience and there would be better health outcomes for all. 

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICS have put together a list of some of the suggested small changes that people have told us could make a real difference. And although many of these are targeted at healthcare organisations, they can be useful to bear in mind in daily life. These include: 

  • The best ways to ‘Ask, Listen and Do’, including the best ways to phrase things, avoiding assumptions and encouraging people to ask questions and to tell you if they don’t understand something.
  • Adjustments which can be made when booking appointments or meetings, like ensuring the person is familiar with where this will take place beforehand.
  • Remembering the importance of communication, clear information and introducing yourself.


As part of this campaign, could you make a small change to make your Place of Welcome more accessible?

Many of you have already put in place small changes to support people living with a learning disability and, or, autism and sharing your ideas in this way will help others. Or you might find that there is another small change you can make today to improve the experiences of people who come to your Place of Welcome. Lichfield Diocese ‘Enabling All’ project might supply some inspiration, especially if your group is church-based.

See below for two examples of how you might make your welcoming space or service more accessible:

My pledge is to add photographs of Places of Welcome to our website, so that people feel familiar with the environment before attending.
My pledge is to add short descriptions of Places of Welcome to our website, so that people can decide if the group is right for them.

So, could you make a pledge today to make your service of welcoming space more accessible? You can download a pledge card here, as well as find more helpful resources and information.