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 Family advocacy

While many people with learning disabilities can speak for themselves, for others, this may be a very challenging – if not impossible – task. In these instances, parents and other family members often advocate on behalf of their relatives who cannot speak for themselves.

Listen to this short video of Phil, who you first met in Session 1, talking about how his parents were in the ‘vanguard’ of the social policy changes that have happened since the mid-twentieth century:

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 7
Skip transcript: Video 7

Transcript: Video 7

PHIL
Bernie is 68 and probably in the oldest 10% of Down syndrome people in the country. So she's been in, I like to think of it, the vanguard of all of this change. She didn't choose to be in the vanguard of all of this change. And my parents didn't really choose to be in the vanguard of all this change.
But they fought in that vanguard to make the changes that have happened. It would have been nice if some of those things had already happened. And I hope that now going forward that there is a better-- that they have a better opportunity for participation in society than they had when Bernie was born.
End transcript: Video 7
Video 7
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Family advocacy really took off in the post-war period. Parents who were unhappy that their children were being denied access to education started actively campaigning and networking with each other.

The organisation which later became Mencap (England and Wales) was founded in the 1940s and Enable (Scotland) was founded in 1954. The energy and passion of collective parent advocacy has revived since austerity measures began to impact on social care after 2008. But family advocates often report how hard they’ve had to fight to ensure their relatives get the support and care they need. For many, it’s something that they think about 24/7 and the strain often affects their own health and wellbeing (Walmsley et al., 2017).

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