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People with learning disabilities are increasingly being encouraged to take control of their own lives and practitioners are therefore required to have the skills and knowledge to support this process. Valuing People (DoH, 2001) actively encourages people with a learning disability and the services they access to be given the opportunity to take control in relation to all aspects of their lives. In order to take the concept of advocacy forward within this chapter it is necessary to provide a clear definition. Jenkins and Northway (2002) define the general term ‘advocacy’ as the ability of people with learning disabilities to speak up for themselves or someone else or this can be viewed as simply acquiring a voice. However, within the concept of advocacy we ...

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