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Biography - Janet Bardsley

A photo of Janet Bardsley

I started my working life as a 18 year old nursing assistant in a large institution for people with learning disabilities. So I feel much of the history the SHLD group research, is the history I lived through! This early experience motivated me to work in different ways, and since that time I have been involved in a supporting people with learning disabilities in a range of local authority services as a social worker and manager. I was particularly involved in the large traditional ATC’s and using ideas of social firms and co-operative development to develop alternatives forms of work. In 2004 I started teaching social workers and was able to use the influence of the SHLD group to help me move from practitioner, to teacher and researcher in a way that continued the lessons of inclusiveness and learning with people with learning disabilities. I am now a member of the Social Work Department at The Open University.

Janet's people profile at The Open University


  • ESCalate/CETL (2009) Contribution to group publication "Putting the I into Identity and other stories", Turner, R., Hughes, J. and Brown, T. (eds).
  • Mason, M. , Bardsley, J., Mann J., Turner, R. (2010) "Research and teaching HE in an FE College. Chalk and cheese?" Practice & Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning in HE.
  • Bardsley, J. ( 2012) "Why Collaborate?"  In Katz, J., Peace, S. and Spurr, S. (eds) Adulthood, Ageing and the Lifecourse, Bristol, Policy Press.
  • Bardsley, J. and Henstock, R. (2013) The challenge of becoming an ethical practitioner: facing the past, Ethics and Social Welfare Journal.

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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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