2022 Position Statement on Autism

Thanks to Steering Group member Tracey Eyles, George Matuska and Lisa Richardson, a position has been reached as to the focus for this Community of Practice. This will be people with learning disabilities and their allies. According to Autistica we recognise that 40% of autistic people will also have a learning disability, as such the co-occurrence of the two are the concern of this community.

As Tracey observes in the below document – neurodivergent people who do not have a learning disability, need their own spaces and where necessary support services and will want to guide commissioners amongst others that a more person centred approach is required.

Community Autism Position statement


Having been supported by BILD, the Community was returned to people in the region in 2020. Work was undertaken to review and refresh the community shared purpose, with an inclusive workshop and online survey. This resulted in an outcome focussed shared purpose – that the Community will enable people with learning disabilities and their allies to live Healthy, Safe and Fulfilled Lives. 

The report and film can be found by clicking below.

Healthy Safe and Fulfilled pic

Since the beginning of 2021, the Community has a Steering Group made up of:-

Lisa Richardson – Researcher – University College London and University of Kent

George Matuska – Clinical Lead, Kent and Medway Partnership NHS Trust and Health Education England South

Cathy Bernal – Senior Lecturer, Kent and Medway Medical School

Ronnie Treston – Expert by Experience and HomeGroup Associate

Emily Stewart – Expert by Experience and Seeability Influencer

Daniel Marsden – Senior Lecturer – Canterbury Christ Church University

Carrie Jackson – Director impACT Research Group, University of East Anglia

Tracey Eyles – Expert by Experience & Personal Support Assistant

Michael Fullerton – Health and Wellbeing Team at Achieve Together

Marina Russ – Expert by Experience and Senior Lecturer – Kingston St Georges Joint Faculty

Anna Cox – Senior Lecturer – University of Surrey


The Kent, Surrey and Sussex Learning Disability Community of Practice was developed from Kent and Medway Learning Disability Community of Practice in 2016. The CoP is a group set up by local people who care about people with learning disabilities experiencing good health and wellbeing, and good health services.

The origins of this venture where spearheaded by Canterbury Christchurch University, East Kent Hospitals Universities NHS Foundation Trust  and the England Centre for Practice Development with support from local statutory and third sector organisations. This group has now grown to include many others that now play a crucial role in the sustainable development of the newly launch KSSLDCoP as it moves forward.

The Community of Practice works toward the eradication of health inequalities by supporting carers, care workers and all professionals to:-

  • be person centred
  • provide the best quality care and support
  • improve equality and access

In June 2013 an event including 60 local people identified what the Community of Practice was for. There are two versions of the Community of Practice Purpose, click on the pictures below for your preferred version.

CoP Easy Read purposeCoP Purpose

During 2016 the community of practice was also able to become a fellow of the England Centre for Practice Development (ECPD) . Click here to access a copy of the certificate of fellowship.

KSS LD CoP Meeting Minutes 


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