Get Involved with Research

This is an experiment. If we post research questions and ideas, would you folks out there, the public, think about them, comment and help us shape our work? Well, let’s give it a go shall we? The first question is about this very thing and it’s on its own page, where it will stay because it’s over-arching. New questions will be posted here so the comments can follow on in order. And if you have ideas for mental health and learning disability research you think should get some attention, why not tell us? All your comments will be read and, … Continue reading Get Involved with Research

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Goodbye friends and family!

∑ Until mid June at any rate! For some reason, all the calls for new research funding bids are open now and have to be submitted in the next few weeks, come Hull, Hell or Halifax! Along with that is the mandatory report on our virtual world study, delayed by Christmas, snow, and participants who would rather go line dancing (who can blame them?) than talk to us. We pleaded for an extension. Computer said no. Resoundingly. So today I went into free-fall over the data for the recent study, had an apoplectic moment over my mean squares while trying … Continue reading Goodbye friends and family!

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Michael Gilbert, murdered by the people he lived with

This is the man whose name I could not find. It was on a news item that preceded a programme I had recorded and I am relieved that I did not imagine it but horrified that the details were far worse than I had thought. here are some quotes from the newspaper: ‘Michael Gilbert, 26, was used as a ‘dogsbody and slave’, shackled to a bed and attacked by the group’s pet pit bulls.’ ‘Mr Gilbert finally died after a new form of torture was devised, involving members of the family jumping on his stomach.’ ‘They then hacked his corpse … Continue reading Michael Gilbert, murdered by the people he lived with

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Vulnerable Victims: a new page to record our shameful society

People with learning disabilities used to be unseen members of our communities, hidden away in institutions with no voice and little contact with their more advantaged neighbours. The changes in philosophy that came with Wolfensberger’s ‘Normalisation’ thrust in the early 1980s led to closure of institutions and the end of inappropriate incarceration for people whose only ‘fault’ was one of intellectual limitation. I have worked in some of those institutions and I have also worked in services at the leading edge of change. In the 21st century, it is the norm for people to live as independently as possible with … Continue reading Vulnerable Victims: a new page to record our shameful society

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Another man with learning disabilities murdered

The news item appeared a couple of days ago. It reported on the perpetrators of years of abuse and dreadful attacks made on a vulnerable man who was unable to defend himself. This family had taken him in when he was homeless but not, it seems, for his care and protection, more to meet their own needs for a servant who could be scapegoated and beaten for amusement. The Court was shown mobile phone footage of this man being hit in the face, seeing the blows coming but having neither the wit nor the will to protect himself. He died, … Continue reading Another man with learning disabilities murdered

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Death of David Askew, a man with learning disabilities

This 64-year-old man did nothing wrong. He had learning (intellectual) disabilities and struggled to cope with the day-to-day demands of an ordinary life. All he wanted was the comforts of his home, his trips to the shops, and his cigarettes. What he needed and maybe didn’t know so much about was the support of his family and neighbours, and this he seems to have had in abundance. He also needed the respect and consideration of the wider community, some of whom hounded and harried him to the point of his death. No one should have to tolerate the abuse and … Continue reading Death of David Askew, a man with learning disabilities

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Migrating from MySpace

Today I’m having a rationalising session and that has included coralling several of my disparate online presences (if there is such a word)  into one enclosure. WordPress has a nicely manicured lawn, tidy edgings, and neighbours with eclectic tastes so it makes sense to move in and put up the curtains. I came here on a visit from MySpace, hauling along a nascent blog offering views on the world that may or may not be shared by others. It liked what it saw and pitched its tent so I went back to fetch Dem and now I won’t get lost making my … Continue reading Migrating from MySpace

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