Making a Difference Toolkit

The concept of health Toolkits has been widely accepted as a constructive medium to complement and enhance existing resources around health and social care workers’ knowledge and skills, acting as a conduit to purposively bringing together a range of resources to promote understanding about what it is like to live (and die) with a learning disability.
The original Toolkit launched in 2009 focussed around improving access to healthcare in hospital for people with a learning disability. This new Toolkit is funded by the Health Education West Midlands, Mental Health Institute Learning, Education and Training Council, and adopts a much broader focus. The ‘Working together Toolkit’ aims to support access to health care wherever it is delivered, albeit in the community, at the GP surgery, or in generic hospital services. It contains over 40 components, and whilst there are some elements of the original Toolkit that we have included in this new edition, there are a number of new and exciting additions that we hope clinicians will find useful whatever (or wherever) their clinical practice.

Background and Launch

This section provides a general introduction to the Toolkit, including the rationale, the people who collaborated on the project, and the context within which it was developed. It also identifies links to various tools (such as the free communication app download) and links to the West Midlands web site.
This section provides a range of short films and Power Points that can be used individually or collectively as teaching resources to promote understanding around autism, dementia, loss and bereavement, going into hospital and receiving anaesthesia.
People with a learning disability may have additional health care needs, yet struggle to access appropriate healthcare and support. This section provides a range of tools to help professionals to support people with learning disabilities in the healthcare context.

Everyone will come to a dying phase of their life at some point. This section provides information and resources to support people with a learning disability at this difficult and often challenging time. Resources from a personal, professional and family perspective are highlighted.

Emotions Booklet Everyone Communicates Booklet Hospice Booklet Spirituality Booklet

This section provides information and resources to promote safe healthcare for vulnerable people in the health care system. It introduces a unique workbook to explain and explore safe healthcare with people with a learning disability, to promote understanding.

Autism affects a significant number of individuals and their families. This section introduces resources (films, booklets, leaflets) to help professionals and others to understand autism and how it might impact on people and professionals who support people in various services.

People with a learning disability are generally living longer, and are consequently prone to the range of ill health conditions that others experience. This section focusses on people with a learning disability who have dementia, providing resources and tools and guidance for effective support.

Your feedback is very important to us in helping to improve the Toolkit and ensuring it remains 'fit for puorpse'. Please take a few minutes to complete the evaluation in this section to ensure your feedback continues to inform our work.

PicTTalk Logo

A new communication resource is an app called picTTalk, which was developed over five years by professionals, children and adults with a learning disability. It includes a number of pictograms, developed to facilitate stories and conversations, helping people to have a voice in what’s happening in their lives.

The picTTalk app was developed for use on tablets with 10 inch screens, and can be freely downloaded on both iPad and android devices. Although the app will work on devices with smaller screens, image display may not be optimal. The communication app is available to down load from:
Google Play Store
Apple App Store

Professionals can use picTTalk to help people to ask questions, to indicate choices, share information about health issues and to explore sensitive topics such as loss and bereavement.