Local Area Coordinator
The post of Local Area Coordinator is a new commitment in South Ayrshire and Scotland.
One of the recommendations of the Scottish Government's Same As You document, the values,
principles and practice of Local Area Coordinators are tried and tested through
seventeen years of experience and development in South Western Australia.
In rural South Western
Australia a major problem was identified with service provisions for people
with learning disabilities. For many individuals and families, the only way to receive
appropriate services was to relocate to a city or for teams of specialists to be
flown out to families to make assessments. Neither of these options met people's
needs or aspirations.
Local Area Coordinator posts were created to build upon existing resources in local
communities and to develop services and opportunities locally. The innovation was
so well accepted and successful that the role of LAC is now widespread across Australia
and taken up in other parts of the world.
Many of the issues, difficulties and problems identified in Australia are similar
to those in Scotland and the model has been adopted here.
In South Ayrshire, the first LAC post has been created in South Carrick and John
Higgins has been working with people in the KA26 post-code area since February 2003.
Local Area Coordination is not just a new name. It's a positive, innovative approach
to assist isolated people access resources through information, advice, advocacy
and community networks, helping people with a learning disability and their families
to live fulfilling lives in their local communities.
If you, or a person you know could benefit from LAC services, contact John on:
Tel: 01465 716612
Mail: John Higgins,
Local Area Coordinator,
20A Henrietta Street,
Girvan, KA26 9AL.
Principles and roles of the LAC.
Local Area Coordinators aim to give people with a learning disability, their families
and carers access to:
- timely, relevant information;
- advocacy and support to enable them to exercise free choice;
- supports to help them care for a person with a disability with minimum disruption
to family life;
- support through life transitions e.g. school to college or work;
- employment opportunities and a fair wage;
- mainstream leisure pursuits with individual preferences;
- health and support services to minimise the impact of disability and maximise rights,
abilities and independence;
- support to develop as part of the community.