Your Voice

Since we began in 1998, we have developed a world of possibilities for people with learning disabilities and autistic people. Because we fundamentally believe that it’s not these individuals’ impairments that restrict their personal development, but the barriers they encounter in society. So, we continuously challenge mainstream thinking. Always WORKING TO ENSURE the voice of those who, all too often, remain ignored, IS HEARD.

The people of Your Voice

We ARE determined to create real change

People with a learning disability and autistic people often have low self-esteem and self-confidence. Often as a consequence of how they have been dealt with by people in their lives. So, they may have had their capabilities consistently underestimated. Or been denied opportunities to work. Or they may have been bullied or the victim of a hate crime. So, this can mean that they simply feel unable to speak up for themselves. So, self-advocacy is at the very heart of why we exist and why we are driven to create real change.

What does Your Voice do?

We have supported those we work with to gain life skills. From personal life skills through to helping them influence councils and employers with insights into reasonable adjustments. We enable people to take on new activities, take on volunteer placements, complete training courses and form positive relationships within a social environment. In addition, we have prevented homelessness by supporting people to find a new home. As well as offering wellbeing courses and developed initiatives like the health passport. We also work in some sensitive areas, including bereavement, end of life, and domestic abuse. And we always advocate for meaningful change wherever we can.

A Your Voice meeting

Your Voice helps to GET the BEST decisions for people with learning disabilities and autistic people

We want Councils, Statutory Authorities, and other commercial and not-for-profit organisations who provide services, to make the right decisions. Based on a wealth of knowledge of what is required from the people affected. Because the people we engage with do not want special treatment. They just want the same rights and chances as everyone else.

Why commissioners use us

Because of our unique perspective, people use us to help create positive change, driving the best long-term outcomes. Because our expertise in engagement with people of all abilities, using a variety of flexible and adaptive techniques, ensures people are truly heard. And always understood.

However, we know that budgets are increasingly stretched. Yet this does not mean that people with learning disabilities and autistic people have to be left behind. We are a charity, but one with a sharp commercial acumen. So, we’re flexible, agile, and innovative. And we forever explore ways to work in a cost-effective manner. Whilst still creating meaningful change.

Our Your Voice services for professionals

Through our range of services and work with community groups, we gather views and experiences. Then we feed them back to Councils, the NHS, Statutory Authorities, and other organisations. Because our aim is to improve services for those that they support. Whilst promoting respect, choice, and opportunity.

Your Voice People

Co-production and Engagement

Designed by people with learning disabilities and autistic people. Our service is rooted in the core principles of co-production laid out by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Equality, diversity, accessibility, and reciprocity.

Experts by Experience

This service is provided by a professionally trained team of people with learning disabilities and autistic people. So, they use their lived experiences to educate others. That can be a review of a hospital, a leisure centre, a shop, a hotel or a sports or social venue, amongst others.

Autism Insights Training

We use the lived experiences of our members and team to educate people on the challenges faced by those people who have learning disabilities and autism. As well as the practical changes they can make to eradicate barriers to inclusion.

One-off Projects

We very much welcome spot-purchase agreements for a wide range of specific consultancy provision. These include referrals by Local Authorities for Care Act Advocacy and Community Advocacy. We also fulfil the Experts by Experience role at Care and Treatment Reviews (CTR).

CAMEO

CAMEO is our Come and Meet Each Other group. We bring together groups of people together to talk through shared experiences and find solutions to life’s issues.

A world of possibilities

Jay Hay

Jay Hay
CEO, Talkback

I consider it a great privilege to lead Talkback. Because we have a clear and unwavering mission to make the world a better place for people with learning disabilities and autistic individuals. From ensuring they have the very best opportunities in day-to-day life, to tackling the bigger and more fundamental issues, we are determined to bring about change.

The importance of respect

There is a need to promote respect for people with learning disabilities and autistic people. Because we want to end the social exclusion that ruins so many lives. Brent Martin, Steven Hoskin, Francesca Pilkington, Rikki Judkins – just a few of the people abused and killed in the UK as a result of hate crime against people with a learning disability. A sickening reminder of the hostility and hatred that blights the lives of so many disabled people.

Often people are excluded and socially ignored as they don’t fit our definition of ‘normal’. Nothing is suddenly going to stop this, but lessons must be learned from Winterbourne, Walton Hall, and Longcare Care Homes. Because for too long people have been abused and subsequently failed by statutory authorities.

Valuing people

In 2001, Tony Blair’s government produced a white paper called Valuing People. That was 20 years ago and, of all its commitments, less than 10% have been achieved.

The current Care Minister Ms Dinenage condemned a recent abuse case and told the House of Commons: “On behalf of the health and care system, I am deeply sorry that this has happened. One thing we can all be clear on is that what was shown last night was not care, nor was it in any way caring. We know the problems that exist in this system and we are utterly determined to address them.”

This is the same as said by the minister in post after Winterbourne and all the other scandals, almost to the word. Sadly, very little has changed. We want to work with organisations to ensure people are heard and that the provision of services reflects their needs, both in the short and long-term. People just want the chance to be part of their communities and lead fulfilling and rich lives. Something every one of us has a right to expect.

A world of possibilities

We are developing a world of possibilities and we want to join with you to make this happen. My door is always open, so please do not hesitate to call me directly to discuss anything in more detail should you wish to.

Our Your Voice brochure

If you’d like to find out more about how Your Voice helps Councils, Statutory Authorities, and other commercial and not-for-profit organisations who provide services, to make their decisions based on a wealth of knowledge of what is required from the people affected you can download our brochure.

Download our Your Voice brochure

An example of our work

Hidden Hurts Study

Talkback was commissioned by Buckinghamshire Council in March 2020 to conduct a study into the relationship between DVA and learning disabilities and/or autism. More specifically, the objectives of the study were:

  1. To establish the nature and scale of DVA issues related to people with learning disability and/or autism, whether they be victims or perpetrators. This should cover both those with relatively minor learning disabilities and those with severe learning disabilities.
  2. To identify how relevant services currently provide for learning disabilities and/or autism and DVA issues, and to make recommendations for improvement.

Download the study:

If you’d like to find out more and understand how we can help you or your family member or your organisation, then just get in touch.

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