This quote is by Mark who wants to be in the local community. He feels valued and respected by his peers and support staff, but Mark yearns to feel part of a wider society in a meaningful and enduring way. What would that look like? And can history help us resolve the invisible barriers Mark faces?
Historical stories of long-stay hospitals highlight people’s desire to belong … to feel in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. There were moments when these elements came together: the creative annual concert, a day trip, a happy birthday. People came alive. There was a meaningful sharing. But this rarely continued after the event. Attitudes reverted to the cultural default.
Recent papers (The Keys to Life: Improving the Quality of Life for People with Learning Disabilities June 2013 and Transforming Care for People with Learning Disabilities – Next Steps January 2015) continue to promote health equalities, human rights, integration and empowerment.
But as we know, at the heart of change are people’s attitudes. Attitudes and limiting beliefs have built many invisible barriers. History shows us the potential of celebratory times. Perhaps if we sustain joyfulness and creativity for long enough, old perceptions will shift. We thought we would try it and see ...
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©KM2015 - 'Nine Lives' - an integrated and intergenerational community arts project [consents for use]
Karrie Marshall is an author and the CEO of Creativity in Care.
If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:
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
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