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Useful information and resources for people with learning disabilities and their carers

Find helpful information, advice and resources for people with learning disabilities and their families during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

back in lockdown poster

Easy read by Photosymbols

    Transition questionnaire from Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BHFT) are currently undertaking a project to evaluate and improve the experience of young people and families as they transition from children’s to adults’ services provided by Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust.

The Trust have received informal feedback via the Families’ Forums across the west of the county and as a result, they would like to gather the views of as many service users as possible. This valuable feedback will help to inform their service development and enable them to identify any changes that need to be made. The Trust would like to gather the views of young people and their families who are aged between 18-20, so have recent experience of the transition process.

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have worked with representatives from the Families’ Forums to devise a questionnaire and would be grateful if you could fill it in. The questionnaire should take between 5 to 15 minutes to complete. There are two versions of the questionnaire:

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are really keen to hear the view of the young person as well as the carer and would find it helpfulif both questionnaires were completed.

The results of the questionnaire will be shared and there wil be opportunities for service users to be involved at all stages of this project and with the future service development work. At the end of the questionnaires should you and/or your young person have an interest in being involved you can share your contact details with BHFT. 

Questionniare closes on the 28 February 2021

    Covid-19 vaccine

Watch the NHS England and NHS Improvement film on vaccinations for people with a learning disability and autistic people.

The film describes what is a vaccine is, how vaccines are made, why you should get a vaccine, whether a vaccine make you ill and how to decide whether to have a vaccine.

Visit the NHS Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group website for information on the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination in the Berkshire West.

Covid-19 vaccine - who gets it first?

Read the Public Health England Easy Read guide to the Covid-19 vaccine.

vaccine –who gets it first poster

Photosymbols has produced this easy read poster on who gets the Covid-19 vaccine first. Further easy read and audio versions relating to the coronavirus and health matters can be found on the Keep Safe website.

For further information visit the GOV.UK website to read the:

Unpaid carers

On the 30 December the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) revised it recommendations in relation to unpaid carers. Visit the Contact for Family website for further information.

    How to stay safe

Easy read posters

Visit the Keep Safe website for helpful easy read information on matters related to coronavirus, the covid vaccine, support bubble, getting help if you are feeling unwell, getting a covid test and more. 

What does self-isolating mean?

Read a social story from Mencap to help understand the latest advice and guidance around COVID-19 outbreak.

Staying safe

Read the Mencap guidance on helping you stay safe and well

Easy Read online have created an downloadable easy read version of Public Health England advice on the Coronavirus.

The Down Syndrome Association website has an easy read guide to what the Coronavirus is and how to stay safe.

The Learning Disability England website has links to key NHS information, social distancing, self-isolation

Go to the UK Government website for up to date information about Coronavirus including getting tested.

Read the Department for Transport easy read coronavirus safer travel guidance.

Face coverings

Read photo symbols easy read guide to wearing a face covering to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

See a guide by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and the Community Infection Prevention and Control service on the dos and don't when wearing a face mask.

The World Health Organisation has producted a leaflet on how to wear a a medical face mask safely.

Visit the UK Government website for guidance on when to wear a face covering and how to make your own.

People who do not have to wear a face covering

Go to the UK Government website for information on people who are exempt from wearing face coverings.

Download an exemption card or badge from the UK Govement website.

Mask alert cards and medical alert cards

Carers and essential companions can download an alert card from the SEDS website explaining why they cannot wear a face mask because they are providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate. Medical alert cards are also available to download to help people with a disability or medical condition explain why they are unable to wear a mask or face covering.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower 

The Hidden Disabilities sunflower design is recongnised by many businesses and organisation. It indicates to people that you need additional support, help or a little more time.

The hidden disabilities website has sunflower face masks, face snood, face shields, hand sanitiser bottle and neoprene sleeves to purchase via their online store. 

Please give me space’ social distancing cards or badges 

If you have difficulties or concerns in maintaining social distancing you can go to the UK Government website and download a badge or card that lets others around you know that they need to pay attention and give you space.


For information and guidance on shielding go to the following websites:

Easy Read

Read the COVID-19: new guidance on protecting people most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus (shielding) easy read guide.

Clear face masks

The UK Government announced that 250,000 clear face masks are to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.

For further information read the UK Governments press release.

    Looking after your feelings

Read the Public Health England easy read guide looking after your feelings and your body.

The University of Glasgow with assistance from colleagues at the Universities of Lancaster and Warwick have developed a series of self help booklets to support people who have learning disabilities to express their feelings. The guides can be downloaded from the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) website.

Beyond Words have created a wordless stories called good days and bad days during lockdown. Which addresses social distancing, lockdown, mental health and daily routines. Go to the Beyond Words website to download the booklet.

    Extension to the Access to Work scheme

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you may be able to get support from Access to Work.

Access to Work can help with:

  • Working from home
  • Working at your normal workplace
  • Or a combination of both.

Read the:

    Hospital communication passport and supporting resources

Communication passport

The charity Include Me Too have produced a COVID-19 resource pack to help families prepare for admission to hospital. The pack includes:

  • COVID-19 hospital communication passport
  • COVID-19 history sheet

These documents can be download from the Include Me Too website, along with their all about me communication passport.

Royal Berkshire Hospital

Read the Royal Berkshire Hospital Easy Read guide to coming into hosital with Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Easy read guides about going to hospital

Mencap have created two resources about going to hospital:

  • What happen if I have to go to hospital
  • What happen if someone I know has to go to hospital

Visit the Mencap website to download these resources.

Easy read guide on leaving hospital

The UK Government have produced three easy read guides for paitents leaving hospital the following guides can be accessed from the UK Government website:

  • What you need to know about leaving hospital
  • When you leave hospital to go home
  • Leaving hospital to go to a care home

    Getting tested if you have any signs of coronavirus

The Royal Berkshire Hospital have created an easy read guide to tell you what will happen if you need to go for a test for coronavirus (COVID-19) at the hospital.

Read the testing for Coronavirus (COVID 19) in the Royal Berkshire Hospital 'drive-thru'

The following easy read guides have been created by the NHS on when you should get tested for coronavirus:

You can find test and trace information in alternative formats, including BSL and large print on the Public Health England website.

    Your rights

Read the National Development Team for Inclusion easy read information about advocacy and your rights during the coronavirus.

Visit the following websites for the information and advice:

    Useful website

The following websites have helpful information and resources: 

    Tips and advice for parents and carers

The Learning Disabilities Professional Senate have developed two resources for people with learning disabilities:

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has developed a guide with tips and advice for parents and carers who are looking after a child or adult with serve learning disabilities at home during the COVID-19.

Read the supporting children and adults with severe learning disabilities at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The social care institute for excellence have produced a useful COVID-19 guide for care staff supporting adults with learning disabilities or autistic adults.

    Local support services


CLASP are keeping in touch with their members through Zoom meeting, Facebook and a closed WhatsApp group.

You can also visit the CLASP website to find out more about the service and how you can become a member.

Find out who the guest speakers are during the August Zoom meetings by viewing the CLASP poster (PDF)

Promise Inclusion

Promise Inclusion are available for practical and emotional support during these challenging times. Read the Promise Inclusion leaflet to for further information and contact details.

Rose Buddies

Rose Buddies are keeping in touch via their Facebook page. You can also call or email the service, visit Rose Buddies directory listing for contact details.

ASD Family Help

ASD Family Help are keeping in touch via their Facebook page. You can also call, text or email the service, visit the ASD Family Help website for further information and contact details.

The Ark - Stay Up Late

The Ark are holding a Stay Up Late zoom video chat on Friday 29 May 2020 at 9.15pm. For further details contact The Ark via email:

For further details about the Stay Up Late national campaign go to The Ark website

The Ark Quarantine Club - Facebook group provides games, crafts, activities and a place to chat to others.

    Local parks and nature reserves

Go to our parks, play areas and open spaces around the Wokingham Borough directory listing to view a map of local parks and nature reserves.

    Wokingham Borough Community Response to COVID-19

If you are in need of extra help visit the Wokingham Borough Community Response to COVID-19 web page for support information.

You can also find information on the Citzens Advice Wokingham website which includes a frequently asked questions section.

    COVID-19 local community groups helping the most vulnerable in our community

Find local support

Visit the Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK website to search for a local group near you. Most of the groups can be accessed via social media such as Facebook or Twitter

You can also engage with your neighbourhood by registering with the Next Door website.

Co-op introduces gift card scheme for vulnerable customers

The Co-op supermarket group has launched a gift card scheme for those shielding or self-isolating and reliant on others to do their shopping or who are volunteering to help someone they know, including as part of a local support group.

By calling a dedicated Co-op phone line on 0800 029 4592,  a gift card can be purchase which can be shared with friends, neighbours or volunteers to pay for shopping in their local Co-op store.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) UK Government response

    Useful information for carers

Support for carers

Find out about support through The Wokingham Carers Hub (0118 324 7333), run by TuVida on behalf of Wokingham Borough Council. It provides a wealth of information. Its staff are highly trained in understanding carers’ needs, providing support, signposting you in the right direction as well as a host of online help groups and home visits.

The hidden carers free helpline (0800 133 7851), run by East Berkshire and Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups together with Signal4Carers, has been extended until the end of December. This is for those of you with caring responsibilities, but don’t recognise yourselves as a carer, so may be unaware there is help available. 

You can also request an assessment in your own right if you’re caring for someone aged 18 or over by completing our online carers self-assessment.

Guidance for carers

Go to the UK Government website to read guidance from the Government for those who provide unpaid care to friends and family.

The Carers UK website has guidance for carers on being prepared and protecting someone you care for.


NHS online services

Visit the following NHS web pages to find out more about how you can get medical help and prescriptions online or over the phone:

Traverse have created an easy read leaflet about health appointments you might have at home using your computer or phone and how you can make the appointments work  better for you.

Photosymbols have produced an easy read poster about what to do if you think you have coronavirus and can be downloaded on the Keep Safe website.

Co-op Health app - repeat prescriptions delivered to your home

The Co-op Health app connects people securely to their GP so they can automatically view and order their medications from their mobile phone.  Home delivery is at no extra cost to them or the NHS.

To get a repeat prescriptions from Co-op Health, the person must:

  • be 16 or over
  • be registered with a GP in England
  • have medication that’s on a repeat prescription
  • have a delivery address in the UK or be able to collect your medication from a pharmacy in England 

Visit the NHS website for further information.

Healthwatch Wokingham

Healthwatch has developed an online survey for Wokingham borough residents to feedback their experiences of using health and social care services during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Visit the Healthwatch website for useful information on health and local care services in the borough which is regularly updated.

NHS Accessible formats

The NHS has put together a range of resources about Coronavirus in accessible formats, including information in an easy read, picture vocabulary, videos, British Sign Language, podcasts and Makaton

To access these resources visit the NHS Health Education England Library and knowledge services website.

Public Health England

Public Health England has issued a range of advice, including:

Public Health for Berkshire

The Public Health for Berkshire website provides you with real-time information for your local area, plus national statistics. 

Stay hydrated

Read the easy read guide to staying hydrated during the hot weather.

    Support from the Optalis Supported Employment Team

Watch the Optalis Supported Employment Team video to find out how the service has continued to support their customers during the pandemic.

For further information on the Optalis Supported Employment team go to their website.

    Easy read - domestic abuse

vaccine –who gets it first poster

Easy read by Photosymbols

Services and organisations

Find care services, leisure activities and support groups

Community directory

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Wokingham Services Directory Disclaimer

The Service Directory includes information and links to third party internet websites which are controlled and maintained by others, information is provided solely for guidance and does not constitute any endorsement. Wokingham Borough Council is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on the directories and information is not provided as a recommendation of suitability or quality of service.