Category Archives: Learning disability

How ballet can break down barriers

TweetA Bristol-based dance project is spreading its inclusive arts campaign, training teachers to run ballet sessions for disabled children and their non-disabled counterparts. My piece on the Flamingo Chicks dance school, which launched two years ago as a community interest … Continue reading

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Homes, hospitals, ambition and actuality

TweetFour years after the abuse of people with learning disabilities at Winterbourne View (and 30 years after the start of care in the community and 20 years after the influential Mansell Report), NHS England recently unveiled a £45m plan to … Continue reading

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Equal rights at the end of life for people with autism

TweetMichael Baron, a National Autistic Society founder parent, whose son Timothy is 60, says of the concept of “a good death”: “At the age of 86, I want that for myself, but just as much I want that end of … Continue reading

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Shattering stigma with the power of poetry

TweetA poetry exhibition opening today aims to challenge attitudes about learning disability and mental ill-health. The learning disability poems are partly a tribute to the late Kim Wolf, who had Down’s syndrome; the collection includes writing inspired by her and … Continue reading

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Bittersweet birthday for landmark disability law

Tweet“Laws are all very well, but it’s people’s attitudes that need to change.” This comment from actor and Mencap ambassador Sarah Gordy pretty well sums up opinions about the impact of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. The act, 20 … Continue reading

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Tailor made theatre for an overlooked audience

Tweet“Today is different” is a recurrent phrase in the latest show from theatre group Frozen Light. But the refrain is more than just part of the script; the words also reflect the innovative company’s hope for young people with profound … Continue reading

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Arts festival uses digital tech for social inclusion

TweetA few images here from an innovative digital arts festival due to take place this weekend (10-12 July). The interactive event, which I wrote about today for the Guardian’s online social care pages, will feature giant portraits of learning disabled … Continue reading

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Rocket science and reality: The Tale of Laughing Boy

Tweet The Tale of Laughing Boy from My Life My Choice on Vimeo. This weekend, I watched a film that should never have had to be made, about a young man who should never have died, featuring people who should … Continue reading

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Social inclusion, sewing patterns and silver linings

Tweet“More busy”. This quote from Kelvin Burke of Rocket Artists reflects what people with learning disabilities need in order to be more included in society; people want to be busier with opportunities to do, make and see more things, to … Continue reading

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The role of siblings in the care of disabled adults

TweetI’m so grateful to Anila Jolly (pictured above, with her brother Sunil) for speaking so frankly about her relationship with her sibling. As she says, siblings of disabled adults are “largely invisible” to care providers, but their “insight and perspective … Continue reading

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