How unofficial social policy drives change- a blog

Blog from Steven Rose back in May for Learning Disability Today is well worth a read and reflection Steven asks where are we now?  in relation to social policy that relates to and influences the lives of people with learning disabilities.  He writes that:

‘With the exception of the failing Transforming Care programme there is very little active official social policy relating directly to people with learning disabilities. However, if you look at the unofficial reaction to the very circumstances that prompted the ill-starred Transforming Care programme, the Winterbourne scandal, then you see the seeds of change being sown. Once again it is the activists, the thinkers, the radicals – people prepared to question the status quo – showing a way forward’.

7 days of Action: A Trade in People- Days 1-4

The third 7 days of Action is about money, business and the inpatient healthcare economy. It’s about a kind of business that is becoming increasingly significant and increasingly powerful. It’s about a new kind of trade and new kind of commodity. We did think we’d start this week by looking at the work we’d done in analysing the finances of the inpatient healthcare economy and by giving you an overview of our report A Trade in People: the inpatient healthcare economy for people with learning disabilities and/or ASD. But the problem with starting a week about people with statistics and budgets, is that you forget about the person and their experiences. So we are going to start this week by asking you to stop and think for a moment. We are going to ask you to imagine what it must be like to be detained behind the closed doors of an Assessment and Treatment Unit.

You can catch up on the first 4 days here:

Should I stay or should I go?

This week saw the publication of a piece of research by Elaine James and the Adult PSW Network Co-Chairs Rob Mitchell and Mark Harvey. The research paper titled ‘An inquiry by Social Workers into evening routines in community living settings for adults with Learning Disabilities’ looks at the life when living your life in care settings. This researched involved the collective efforts of overs 70 social workers wanting to understand the reality of the of choice and real lives.

Paul Richards  ( @Heavy_Load ) of Stay up Late and Gig Buddies fame agreed to write a blog for APSW challenging some of the concepts that lead to such arrangements and suggesting what we need to do.

You can read the blog here:


8 June – don’t lose your right to vote!

The problem is that many people with learning disabilities are not registered to vote. They may get turned away from the polling station if they don’t register by Monday 22nd May.

Easy Read Online have produced a downloadable easy read guide to registering to vote – download it here:

Mencap also have a lot of information about voting, and why it’s important for people with learning disabilities to register, get involved in the campaign and make their voice heard, here:

United Response have created an Every Vote Counts website, which includes easy read information on elections, voting and much more:

Business Unusual – The Plea of Dudes

This is animation No 4 in a series of what are intended to serve as powerful reminders of what needs to change. The piece is set to a self-penned narrative which has been recited by a four amazing dudes. The voice at the start of the piece is Connor Sparrowhawk, taken from footage of him filming buses in Oxford.