2 Pressure for change
Bedford Mencap was founded in 1955, as a branch of the National Association for Parents of Backward Children. It provides services for its members, such as the Welfare Visitors Scheme, and also campaigns for change at national and local levels. When the branch was founded there was no provision for families other than the advice to put their child into a mental handicap hospital. Now, partly due to the efforts of Mencap, there is far more on offer. However, you'll shortly be hearing that while some older members believe that the pendulum is swinging too far in the direction of independence and inclusion, younger members are frustrated that Mencap is too conservative, and want a greater commitment to inclusive education and supported independent living.