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    Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study wave 4: people from ethnic minority communities in England September 2023

    Hatton, Chris ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8781-8486, Caton, Susan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9013-8721 and Hastings, Richard (2023) Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study wave 4: people from ethnic minority communities in England September 2023. In: Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study. Project Report. University of Warwick, Coventry. ISBN 9781871501414

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    Abstract

    The Coronavirus and people with learning disabilities study has been tracking the experiences of people with learning disabilities across the UK through the COVID-19 pandemic1. The original study tracked the experiences of people at three time points (or Waves); December 2020 – February 2021; April – May 2021; and July – August 2021. At Wave 3, 489 adults with learning disabilities took part in online structured interviews, and a further 280 family carers or support workers of people with learning disabilities who could not take part in an interview provided information about the person they were caring for via an online structured survey. At Wave 3, the ethnicity of only 22 people with learning disabilities in Cohort 1 (16 of whom lived in England) and 17 people with learning disabilities in Cohort 2 (8 of whom lived in England) was identified as being from ethnic groups other than White2. Wave 4 of the project was commissioned separately, after the end of the original project, with an additional wave of interviews and surveys starting in late summer 2022. The research team continued to examine the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the lives of people with learning disabilities in the UK, and began to look more broadly at the current living circumstances of people with learning disabilities in the UK in the context of economic difficulties and challenges for public services. Wave 4 also contained two additional elements, both focused in England, to attempt to address some of the limitations that had emerged from the experience of conducting the original project. The first of these was to conduct in-depth work with a small number of people and families to understand and share people’s stories of their lives through the COVID-19 pandemic as a whole. The second additional element was to attempt to recruit ‘booster samples’ of 100 people with learning disabilities and 50 family carers/support workers of people with learning disabilities from ethnic minority communities, to allow for relatively detailed comparisons of people’s circumstances and experiences across ethnic groups at Wave 4 of the study. This report describes our attempts to recruit these booster samples to Wave 4 of the study, reflection on why we did not achieve our aims for this element of the study, some necessarily limited and broad-brush analyses of differences between people with learning disabilities from White British ethnic groups and people with learning disabilities from any other ethnic group, and some potential implications of this study for future research with people with learning disabilities from ethnic minority communities.

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