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Independent futuresCreating user-led disability services in a disabling society$
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Colin Barnes

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347183

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347183.001.0001

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Service users' views and experiences

Service users' views and experiences

Chapter:
(p.115) seven Service users' views and experiences
Source:
Independent futures
Author(s):

Colin Barnes

Geof Mercer

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861347183.003.0007

This chapter, first, foregrounds users' experiences using mainstream, community-based support services. A contrast is drawn with disabled people's experiences of user-led services. The discussion concentrates on the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the two forms of provision. Second, consideration is given to the impact of current economic and policy contexts on the promotion of ‘independent living’ Third, there is a more detailed examination of the key aspects about user-led services that users believe set them apart from mainstream statutory and voluntary services. These range over the process of assessment of support needs through the quality and range of services to central claims by organizations of disabled people that user-controlled agencies provide greater choice and control to individual disabled service users. The final section considers the responses of research participants to questioning about the drawbacks and shortcomings in their experience of user-led services, and whether there was a discrepancy between the aims and objectives of user-controlled organizations and actual practice, and if so, what might be the explanation.

Keywords:   user-led services, user-controlled organizations, community-based support services, disabled, independent living

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