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Biography - Dr Liz Tilley

Liz Tilley is Lecturer in the Faculty of Health & Social Care at The Open University. She completed her PhD on advocacy for people with learning disabilities in 2006 and continues to be involved in researching issues in learning disability policy and practice, drawing on historical perspectives. She Chairs the Social History of Learning Disability research group and is Convenor of the International Network on the History of Sterilisation for Women with Intellectual Disabilities.

Liz's people profile at The Open University

Peer reviewed Journal articles

  • (forthcoming 2013) Tilley, E. ‘Management, leadership and user control in self-advocacy: an English case study, Intellectual and Developmental Disability.
  • (forthcoming 2013) Marshall, K. and Tilley, E. Life stories, intellectual disability, cultural heritage and ethics: dilemmas in researching and (re)presenting accounts from the Scottish Highlands, Ethics and Social Welfare (issue 3, September 2013).
  • (forthcoming 2013) Tilley, E. and Chapman, R. Self advocacy support and a relational concept of care: revisiting and reinterpreting, Ethics and Social Welfare (issue 3, September 2013).
  • (2012) Tilley, E., Earle, S., Walmsley, J. and Atkinson, D. ‘The Silence is roaring’: Sterilization, reproductive rights and women with intellectual disabilities, Disability and Society, 27 (3).
  • (2011) Tilley, E. and Woodthorpe, K. ‘Is it the end for anonymity as we know it? A critical examination of the ethical principle of anonymity in the context of twenty first century demands on the qualitative researcher’, Qualitative Research, Vol. 11, No. 2.

Chapters in books

  • Tilley, E., Earle, S., Walmsley, J. and Atkinson, D. (2012) 'Sterilization and women with learning disabilities: an international issue'. In Earle, S., Komaromy, C. and Layne, L. (eds) Understanding reproductive loss: International perspectives on life, death and fertility, Ashgate, Surrey.
  • ‘Resistance in Mencap’s history’. In Mitchell, D. et al (eds) (2006) Exploring Experiences of Advocacy by People with Learning Difficulties: Testimonies of Resistance, London, JKP.
  • ‘The voluntary sector’. In Walmsley, J. and Welshman, J. (2006) Community Care in Perspective: Care, Control and Citizenship, Palgrave, MacMillan.


  • (forthcoming 2014) Tilley, E. and Chapman, R. with Townson, L. Advocacy in Health and Social Care: power, paradoxes and social change, Palgrave, MacMillan.

Non-refereed articles

  • Lloyd, C., Tilley, E., Walmsley, J. and Davies, C. (2013) ‘Diabetes and people with learning disabilities: Living in parallel worlds’, Learning Disability Today, March/April 2013.
  • Earle, S., Tilley, E and Walmsley, J. (2012) Who makes crucial decisions on reproduction and contraception? Learning Disability Practice, 15(8) pp. 34–35.

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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