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Working with Primary Schools

Mabel Cooper sitting in a classroom during a presentation to schoolchildren

Covering the London boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham and Kent, this project involved Mabel Cooper, a woman with learning difficulties who was a prominent member of the Research Group. Mabel went into primary schools to talk to children about her life story, which included being sent away to a long-stay learning disability hospital as a child.

The aim of her presentations was to support a shift in attitude away from a view of people as dependent and 'ineducable' to a more inclusive society where people with learning difficulties, including those with challenging behaviours, are accepted, valued and welcomed within their local schools and communities.

During Mabel's presentations children shared their own experiences of bullying and being treated differently, indicating the value of these sessions in opening up discussion of issues of diversity and difference.

In 2013 the Department of Health awarded this work a 'Good Practice' award.

Sadly, Mabel passed away in March 2013.

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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