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On 30th September, 2016 we were delighted to host “What’s new for people with learning disabilities down under?” in partnership with Learning Disability England, Human Activism (human activism.org) and Manchester Centre for Youth Studies.  We welcomed Leanne Dowse for The University of New South Wales who gave the audience an insight into the new National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia.

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We were delighted that self-advocates, activists, family members and academics attended the event and enjoyed discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing people with learning disabilities in the UK and Australia in a time of austerity.

12th June, 2016: Watch Katherine Runswick-Cole talking about “Big Society? Disabled people with learning disabilities and civil society” & ,  to  here 

Read Katherine Runswick-Cole’s piece in The Independent  on disability and The Archers http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/why-the-archers-needs-more-disabled-characters-a6915471.html here 

Listen to Katherine Runswick-Cole talk about her presentation at the The Archers in Fact and Fiction on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme here

Runswick-Cole, K. (2016) The dis/appearance of disability in The Archers … or why Bethany had to leave Ambridge, The Archers in Fact and Fiction Conference, The University of Liverpool, Finsbury Park Campus, London, 17th February, 2016

Slides available here: Archers slides

Quoted in The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/dec/16/families-long-stay-units-learning-disabilities‘Families doubt plans to close long stay units’, 16th December, 2015.

1st December, 2015: “What does the comprehensive spending review mean for ‘people like you’?”

Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole, Senior Research Fellow in Disability Studies & Psychology appeared on Stockport radio station Pure FM 107.8 to discuss what the comprehensive spending review means for people with learning disabilities.  This followed the publication of her blog on  Metropolis, the University’s policy think tank web page. You can read the blog here.

Katherine described the mounting challenges facing people with learning disabilities who want to work, who use social care and who want to live independently.  In the discussion, Katherine drew on findings from a recent research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Big Society? Disabled People with Learning Disabilities and Civil Society.

 

25th November, 2014: A day at Public Health England and the House of Commons

Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole, Senior Research Fellow in Disability Studies and Psychology, has just returned from a trip to London. Katherine began the day at Public Health England (PHE). Katherine was invited by PHE to attend a workshop on “The Best Start to Life”. Katherine joined about thirty academics to work with members of PHE, the Department of Health and the Research Councils to identify key future research agendas for children. Katherine said “it is clear that the rise in child poverty is having a negative impact on health outcomes for children. Disabled children are more likely to live in poverty than their non-disabled peers, it is vital that their experiences are prioritised in health research and debates. I was delighted that PHE invited me to London to contribute to the discussions and to highlight the experiences of disabled children.”

Later that day, Katherine made her way to Westminster to attend the launch of United Response’s #EveryVoteCounts campaign http://www.unitedresponse.org.uk/every-vote-counts, hosted in the Commons by Dame Anne Begg, MP . There are over 1.5 million people with learning disabilities in the UK and yet they are far less likely than the general population to vote. United Response wants to create greater awareness of the rights of people with a learning disability to vote and to make it easier for people to get hold of accessible information about politics, including easy read versions of political parties’ manifestos.

Katherine said: “As part of our current research project here at MMU, Big Society? Disabled people with learning disabilities and civil society” (https://bigsocietydis.wordpress.com ), we have been working with our partner organisations in order to support people with learning disabilities to take part in the political process. It was great to see cross-party support for United Response’s campaign and we hope that we will see an increase in the availability of local, accessible manifestos and a rise in the number of people with a learning disability voting in 2015.”

21st November, 2014: The Launch of the Learning Disability Alliance

On Friday 21st November, Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole, Senior Research Fellow in Disability Studies and Psychology, attended the launch of the Learning Disability Alliance (LDA) at Manchester Conference Centre. The Learning Disability Alliance brings together organisations led by people with learning disabilities, family-led organisations and the third sector and charities in an alliance for change (http://learningdisabilityalliance.org ). The aim of the alliance is to create a strong campaign to fight for the rights of people with learning disabilities. Katherine said: “As part of our current research project here at MMU, Big Society? Disabled people with learning disabilities and civil society” (https://bigsocietydis.wordpress.com ), people are telling us that their rights are under threat. Self-advocacy groups are closing down, independent living is under threat, hate crime is rising and thousands of people with learning disabilities are still living, and in the tragic cases of Connor Sparrowhawk (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-30203155 ) and Stephanie Bincliffe (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/24/hospital-autistic-woman-weight-gain-inquest ), dying in institutions. The Learning Disability Alliance offers and opportunity for academics to work with people with learning disabilities and other allies to tackle the policies and practices that are harming the lives of people with learning disabilities”.

You can join the LDA by signing up here: http://learningdisabilityalliance.org

You can support the campaign to end the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities here: https://lbbill.wordpress.com

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