Profoundly disabled people and their families help produce how-to guides

Mencap and the PMLD Network today launch a series of how-to guides and films in a bid to help people better meet the needs of those with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD), a group of people who have often been marginalised.

Funded by the Department of Health, the free online Raising our sights guides are aimed at commissioners, families and others who are responsible for supporting or developing services for people with PMLD within their local communities. 

The guides have been developed to help local areas meet the recommendations from Professor Jim Mansell’s Raising our sights report (2010), which looked at services and support for people with PMLD.

Ten guides cover a range of key issues relevant to people PMLD and their families including effective communication, support for families, advocacy, and personalisation. They each give examples of best practice, and have sections to help families and others challenge and campaign where they are not getting the right support. 

In addition, there is also a guide designed specifically for commissioners with practical help and advice on how best to provide services at a local level. 

Six short films, also available online, share the stories of individuals with PMLD and bring the guides to life.

The Raising our sights guides were officially launched at the PMLD Network Conference 2013 in Nottingham today.  Speaking at the event, Beverley Dawkins OBE, Policy Manager at Mencap said:

“These guides and films will help raise the profile of people with PMLD, and their families.  The stories will inspire families about what is possible in terms of services and support, and the practical information will equip them to ask for this. 

They are an absolute must-read and must-see for people responsible for commissioning services and other health and social care professionals, who are often not aware of how best to support this group of people.”

The guides are available at:


About Mencap

There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.


About the PMLD Network

The PMLD Network is a group of organisation and individuals working together to improve the lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities

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