Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

3.1 Included exclusion

Lee Humber, an academic in the social history of learning disability, interviewed people with learning disabilities about their experience of employment over time. His research (2014) showed that people with learning disabilities sometimes experience what he describes as ‘included exclusion’ at work. By this he means that even when people hold down their jobs – sometimes for very long periods of time – they don’t feel ‘part of the team’. For example, here is Margaret, a 51-year old woman with learning disabilities, talking about her employment in a North London biscuit factory:

It was quite a big factory. I never really mixed with the people there. I mostly kept myself to myself. They didn’t seem very sociable. They did used to say hello and that but I used to take my sandwiches for lunch. I was mostly on my own there.

(Humber, 2014, p. 283)

Equality legislation (for example the Equality Act 2010) is in place to prevent disabled people from being discriminated in the workplace. But Humber’s research shows that in order for people with learning disabilities to have a good experience of work, employers need to do more than merely avoid discrimination. Employers need to take steps to ensure that colleagues with learning disabilities are respected, valued and supported to feel included.

LD_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371