Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Conferences
  3. Conference 2016
  4. Keynote speech 2016 - Day one

Keynote speech 2016 - Day one

Hidden Now Heard

Day1 Keynote speech - Hidden Now Heard

[[[image-0 small right]]]

Paul Hunt, Sara Pickard and Laura Harris

The Hidden Now Heard project is collecting the oral histories of people with a learning disability and staff from six former long-stay hospitals across Wales.

[[[image-1 left]]]Since July 2016 the project has collected over 30 oral histories, but most of them are from former staff. It is very heard to speak to former patients.

The original aim of the project was to uncover a hidden part of the history of people with a learning disability. It has, instead, told us a lot about how people are treated today. Why history? Because we learn from it.

We would like to present a discussion of the following:

  1. The issues in being able to make initial contact with patients due to barriers put up by local authority Learning Disability teams.[[[image-2]]]
  2. The barriers we have faced in meeting former patients living in supported living homes.[[[image-3]]]
  3. Why we face these barriers - lazy support staff; over-protective staff; lack of understanding of The Mental Capacity Act; worries over emotional impact of interviews; a general feeling that people with a learning disability shouldn't feel sadness.[[[image-4]]]
  4. Why history? People are now able to make their own cup of tea and choose their clothing. Do they have the freedom to be able to talk about their own past?[[[image-5]]]

Speaker biographies

Hidden Now Heard team

Paul Hunt is the manager of the Hidden Now Heard project. He has worked for Mencap Cymru since August 2008 and has been involved with the Partners in Politics and Inspire Me project. He also supervised a KTP project looking at increasing empathy amongst staff in challenging behaviour services.

Sara Pickard s a project officer for the Hidden Now Heard project. She is now in her tenth year of employment at Mencap Cymru. She has previously been part of the Inspire Me and Partners in Politics projects, delivering training sessions to young people with a learning disability. She is also an elected community councillor in Cardiff.

Laura Harris is a project officer and volunteer coordinator for the Hidden Now Heard project. Laura has worked for Mencap Cymru for 4 years and was previously involved in the Gateway Active Award, encouraging people with a learning disability to get more active. Laura is also a trustee of the Cynon Valley Museum.

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
MK7 6AA

About the website

If you have any feedback or would like to report a problem with the website, please contact WELS-Research-Admin@open.ac.uk.