A7 Activities KS 2 3 & 4 Language and disabled people

March 17, 2016 by richard

1i. Following a discussion with the class about who are disabled people, students in groups, write down with felt pens on a large sheet of paper, all the words they have ever heard about disabled people.
1ii After sharing their information ask the groups to identify those words that are positive or neutral, by circling in a different colour. If they are unsure, ask them to think about how they might like to be known if they were a disabled person.
1iii Ask the groups to count up negative and neutral/positive word. 1.iv Ask the groups to try and explain their results.
2. Hold a class discussion on name calling, how hurtful this feels and why they should not use these words.
3. Check the origins of some of the words they have found to be negative. Allocate 1 or 2 words to each group to find out the origins and then plan a 30 second to 1 minute presentation on where the word came from and why not to use it to name-call or label disabled people. These can then be shared with the class or an assembly. This approach can be extended to other forms of verbal harassment such as homophobic, sexist, racist, poverty. [A list of common derivations or original meanings can be found at Resource sheet :The origin of negative words associated with disability]
4i In Modern Languages, working in groups and using dictionaries, look up the words commonly in use for disabled people, mental health/mad, blind, deaf, learning difficulty in Spanish, German, French etc. 4ii Copy these down and compare them across the different languages.
4iii Ask the groups to discuss if they can find any pattern in the roots and original meanings.
4iv Hold a class discussion on whether language can give a clue to how disabled people were thought of-attitudes to disabled people.



A4 Activity on Traditional /Medical /Social Models of Disability

by richard

A4 Activity on Traditional /Medical /Social Models of Disability
 Make the 30 statements below into 30 statements on cards
 Mix up the cards
 Get groups to sort them under three headings: Traditional, Medical and Social Model Views

30 Statement
Traditional View
Your impairment is a punishment from God
You are a freak of nature
You should be a penitent sinner
You should not be allowed to have children
You are like that because your parents did something wrong
You’ve got a chip on your shoulder
How can you get married and have children
I feel pity for you
You are a child of the devil and evil
You are in-educable
Medical Model View
If you try really hard you could be normal
If we operate you will be able to walk again
You are ill and need a psychiatrist
You must go to a special school and have specialist therapy
If you follow the course of treatment you could be cured
You will never be able to have a sexual relationship
You will always have the mental age of a 5 year old
You are a danger to yourself and others
If they are allowed to breed they will weaken the gene pool
Equality is treating everyone the same
Social Model View
We have the right to be different
We see what you can do, not what you can’t
We provide the support you need
Work at a pace and in a way that suits you
This building needs to be made accessible
Equality is giving people what they need to thrive
You can be whatever you want
You have the right to be a lover and a mother
Your views are important
Inclusive education for all



A3 Information and Activity. Who are disabled people? Equality Act Definition.

by richard

A3 Information and Activity. Who are disabled people? Equality Act Definition.
Today we have a legal definition in the 2010 Equality Act which is largely the same as in the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act.
This says a person is disabled if you ‘have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities’.
Substantial means more than minor or trivial impact on your ability to do normal day to day activities.
This discounts the impact of medical treatment, prosthesis or aids.
Long term means 12 months or more or likely to last 2 months or more.
Visual impairment does not count if it is correctable by glasses or contact lenses.
Progressive conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and HIV count from the moment of diagnosis.
The definition is to protect people from discrimination, not to allocate resources . So it is a low threshold with 11.5 million people or 19.5% of population included.
Activity. Having explained the definition, use a series of flash cards with the following conditions on them and ask the class or group to place them inside or outside the definition of disability, as represented by a circle on the floor or board. This can be made more or less complicated depending on the age and cognitive level of the class. Here we provide two columns.
Included in Equality Act Definition Excluded from Equality Act Definition
Deafness Wearing glasses for short sight
Colour blindness Wearing Contact lenses for long sight
Lung Cancer Flu
Dyslexia Chicken Pox
Stuttering Regional accent
Blindness Broken leg
Spinal Injury A cold
Heart Condition High blood pressure
Learning Difficulty Being Pregnant
Depression Feeling sad because pet has died
Having a false leg Having a walking stick for fashion
Using a walking stick to walk Walking on very high heels
Bi Polar Being a drug addict
Epilepsy Headache
Autism Being Left handed
Asthma (severe) Asthma (mild)
Hyper Activity ADHD Being drunk
Facial disfigurement Setting fire to things
Blindness Shaved head
Tuberculosis Having A Tattoo
Leprosy Small child
Short stature or Dwarfism Tone deaf
Not able to speak-Mute Fat ( but gross obesity would count)
Not able to walk Not taking regular exercise
Kidney Failure and dialysis Appendicitis
Lacking Anger Management Temper Tantrum



A2 Ways of thinking about disability KS2 Activity

by richard

A2 Ways of thinking about disability KS2 Activity
Watch the extract and reading of the book ‘Winnie the Witch’

Social Model of Disability
The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives. An impairment is defined as the limitation of a person’s physical, mental or sensory function on a long-term basis.
Barriers are not just physical. Attitudes found in society, based on prejudice or stereotype (also called disablism*), also disable people from having equal opportunities to be part of society.
Disabled people developed the social model of disability because the traditional medical model did not explain their personal experience of disability or help to develop more inclusive ways of living.
Medical model of disability
The medical model of disability says people are disabled by their impairments or differences.
Under the medical model, these impairments or differences should be ‘fixed’ or changed by medical and other treatments, even when the impairment or difference does not cause pain or illness.
The medical model looks at what is ‘wrong’ with the person and not what the person needs. It creates low expectations and leads to people losing independence, choice and control in their own lives.
When they created ‘Winnie The Witch’, Korky Paul as illustrator and Valerie Thomas as author produced a fun way for children to learn about colour.They also created a unique and valuable tool for teaching children and many adults, about different ways of thinking about the social model of disability.
*- “discriminatory, oppressive or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others”
Here’s how the story goes. In this reading of the story:
• Winnie represents society
• the house represents the environment
• Wilbur represents people with impairments or differences
• the birds represent attitudes of everybody else in society
Winnie finds Wilbur a problem because his black fur can’t be seen in her black house. He gets in the way.
Society finds disabled people a problem.
Winnie uses her skills to change Wilbur a little, thinking a green Wilbur will be less trouble in her black house. She doesn’t ask if he wants to be green, because she thinks she knows best.
Society tries to change or ‘fix’ individuals with impairments or differences, even when they are not ill or in pain.
Wilbur is still a problem. Winnie makes another, bigger change to Wilbur but makes Wilbur very unhappy because he wants to be himself. Winnie has created an attitude that lets even the birds think they can laugh at Wilbur.
People with impairments or differences don’t want to be changed to fit in to “normal” society. They want to be themselves, taking part and contributing to society. The wrong change creates social attitudes that lead to individuals being treated disrespectfully, just as the right change can make sure everyone is equal and respected.
Winnie decides to change her house and keep Wilbur as he is. They can both live happily in the colourful house.
Changes in society remove barriers to everybody living in equality and independence. The moral of the story is it is better to change our environment and attitudes rather than try to change people with impairments or differences!
Drama Activity. Devise another story way of showing how society needs to change rather than the disabled person. In your group work out how you will show this to the rest of the class. After sharing your story discuss, how this approach could change your school to make it more friendly for disabled people.



A1 Teachers Guide, Ways of thinking and speaking about Disabled People

by richard

A1 Teachers Guide, Ways of thinking and speaking about Disabled People
The models of disability
It was the segregation, discrimination and exclusion of disabled people from community life, that led the Disability Movement to challenge the way in which people were treated and labelled by society and the medical profession in particular.
The traditional model of disability in all societies prior to the medical model seeks to explain difference by magic, superstition or the acts of all powerful deities. These vary between cultures and over time depending on material circumstances, but the thinking is largely negative. They are the root of many powerful stereotypes. However, there are also examples throughout history that run counter to the dominant ideas about disabled people, which demonstrate that love and relationships often lead to acceptance.
The Medical Model of Disability places the problem with the individual that only a cure will solve. It denies the individual their value, worth and individuality as they do not meet the accepted ‘norms’ of our society. This disabled people are often viewed in society.
The World Health Organisation’s old definition:
* ‘Disability is any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being’.
Medical labels are often misleading, as no two people are alike. Medical labels tend to reinforce stereotypes of disabled people as patients who are ill, powerless and wholly dependent on the medical profession.
The ICF WHO definition from 2001 defined disability
‘Disability is a decrement (reduction or diminution) in functioning at the body, individual or societal level that arises when an individual with a health condition encounters barriers in the environment’. This still places the onus on the individual rather than society and has been developed into a bio-social model in recent years that places much emphasis on the individual and their perceptions and is promoted by commercial interests such as ATOS and UNNUM.

The Medical Model

The Social Model of Disability challenges the medical profession’s definition and was developed by a group of disabled people who managed to escape from institutional care in 1976 known as ‘The Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation’. Their definitions are:
* Impairment – Lacking part or all of a limb or having a defective limb, organ or mechanism of the body.
*Disability – The disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a contemporary social organisation which takes little or no account of people who have physical impairments and thus excludes them from participation in the mainstream of social activities. Disability is therefore a particular form of social oppression.
Under this classification, people have impairments, they do not have disabilities.
These approaches do not deny the problem of disability, but locate it within society. Individual limitations, of whatever kind, are perceived as only one factor.
Far more important, they say, is society’s failure to ensure that the needs of disabled people are fully taken into account in its social organisation.
Therefore, according to the Social Model, disability is a social state and not a medical condition.
To take into account all forms of social oppression and all impairments, Disabled People’s International adopted and redefined the definition of disability in 1981 as:
‘The loss or limitation of opportunities that prevents people who have impairments from taking part in the mainstream life of the community on an equal level with others due to physical and social barriers’.
Many organisations which are run and controlled by disabled people work within and promote the Social Model of Disability. Many Councils throughout the country have adopted a Social Model definition. Working in this way ensures equality of access and challenges discrimination at all levels within the organisation and the local and wider community.
The United Nations when it adopted ‘The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’(UNCRPD), in 2006, adopted this paradigm shift. While not defining disability it states ‘Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’. Article 1.
The UK alongside 131 countries have ratified the UNCRPD
Knowing a little history of the Social Model will help the understanding of why we use particular language and how some words and phrases are now offensive.
Language and Terminology
Whilst it is important to have a general understanding of words and phrases which give offence to disabled people, we should note where they come from and why. The history of disability is a fascinating one. If we understand where things come from, we can put the jigsaw together and make sense of the full picture.
* The term ‘the disabled’ implies a homogeneous group separate from the rest of society. We are all individuals. The preferred term is ‘disabled people’.
* The term ‘the handicapped’ is offensive to many disabled people because it has associations with ‘cap in hand’ and begging. The preferred term is ‘disabled people’.
*Under the Social Model, the term ‘people with disabilities’ is incorrect as we have impairments. We are people who are disabled by the environment, attitudes, stereotypes etc. The preferred term is ‘disabled people’.
*Another example is ‘invalid’ because this equates disability with illness and can be construed as ‘not valid’ or ‘worthless’ . Similarly the word ‘cripple’, originally meaning either to creep or be without power, is offensive.
* A wheelchair represents ‘independence’ and ‘freedom’ and not a ‘confining burden’ as it is thought of by non-disabled people. Disabled people prefer the term ‘wheelchair user’ or ‘person who uses a wheelchair’ to ‘wheelchair bound’.
*People with an ‘intellectual impairment’ prefer to be described as people with ‘learning difficulties’ not ‘mental handicap’. Words like ‘idiot’, ‘imbecile’ and ‘feeble minded’ are equally offensive as these were used to classify and incarcerate people under the 1913 Mental Deficiency Act. It is important not to confuse learning difficulties with mental illness.
*People who have experienced mental health problems have no one preferred ‘name’ by which to be called. The most common terms being ‘user’ or ‘clients’ of Mental Health Services. The term ‘survivor’ is not frequently used, in this area, but it is important to find how the group or person you are dealing with likes to be referred .
*People who are deaf or blind or deaf/blind are said to have ‘sensory impairment’, either ‘hearing’ or ‘sight impaired’ or both.
*The term ‘disabled toilets’ is inappropriate. The toilet is either ‘accessible’ or inaccessible’.
* Unpaid relatives, family members and friends are often known as carers. This should not be confused with care workers who are paid to support disabled people and children as part of their paid work.
*Disabled people prefer the term ‘personal assistant’ when referring to paid home care workers. Disabled people require support and assistance from service providers, not to be looked after and cared for.
* Often the term ‘disabled parking bays’ is used inappropriately at supermarkets and shopping centres. It should be ‘parking for Blue Badge Holders or ‘parking for disabled drivers and passengers’. More and more supermarkets are changing to the latter through pressure from disabled people.
Disabled people say they prefer you to use the words in the first column. Many of the old words are offensive, but these will appear in old sources and students should be warned not to use them to describe disabled people.
Use / preferred Avoid / offensive
Person who has
Person with
Person who experienced Victim of
Disabled person
Person who has
Person with Crippled by
Person who has
Person with Sufferer
Suffering from
Wheelchair user Wheelchair bound
Disabled person Invalid
Disability / impairment Handicap
Disabled person Handicapped person / person with disability
Condition / impairment Disability(when referring to specific condition).
Someone with cerebral palsy Spastic
Disabled people The disabled
Blind person / visually impaired The blind
Deaf people The deaf
Sign Language User Deaf and dumb
Hearing impaired people The deaf
Someone with Down’s Syndrome or Learning Difficulty Mongol
Learning difficulty Mental handicap
Learning difficulty Retard / idiot / feeble-minded
Speech difficulty Mute / dumb / dummy
Mental health system user, Mental health survivor Mad / crazy / insane
Mental health system user, Mental health survivor Mentally ill
Disabled person Mental
Foolish / thoughtless Stupid
Short person Dwarf
Short stature Midget
Neuro-diverse or person with autism Autist or Savant
Disfigured Deformed
Disabled Person Congenital
Accessible toilet Disabled toilet

Activity Ask students why the words in the second column might be offensive to disabled people.
Remember that language does change over time and that as a first step should be asked what they feel comfortable with in terms of description, if indeed a description is needed.



A0 Introduction to NUT web pages for UK Disability History Month (UKDHM) 2012

by richard

A0 Introduction to NUT web pages for UK Disability History Month (UKDHM)2012
UKDHM formally takes place between 22nd November and 22nd December each year, though many events and activities take place outside this time slot. It is supported by more than 100 organisations, including the NUT.
The purpose of UK Disability History Month is:-
To raise awareness of the unequal position of disabled people in society and to advocate disability equality;
To develop an understanding of the historical roots of this inequality;
To highlight the significance of disabled people’s struggles for equality and inclusion and the ‘social model’ of disability;
To publicise and argue for the full implementation of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Equalities Act (2010).[ http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf]
Disabled people don’t just identify as disabled, but also as women or men, girls or boys, straight or lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, black or ethnic minorities, refugees and asylum seekers or religious minorities and of all classes in society. Throughout the Disability History Month it will be important to recognise that disabled people have multiple identities, being members of other groups subjected to discriminatory practice and to ensure that the diverse nature of disabled people is recognised in terms of the range and type of impairment that are included e.g. Neuro-diverse, mental health issues, learning difficulty, physical, invisible and sensory impairments.
Key foci of the month are:
– Advocating equality for disabled people
– Promoting disability equality and inclusion-‘Nothing About Us ,Without Us’
– Examining the roots of ‘Disabilism’- negative attitudes, harassment and hate crime
– Celebrating disabled people’s history- struggles for rights, equality and inclusion
– Challenging and exposing the unequal position of disabled people in our society
– The Cultural and Artistic portrayal of disabled people
– Highlighting examples of good disability equality.
UKDHM adopts and supports a social and human rights’ approach to disability rather than a medical or traditional model approach [See link to Models].
A further range of resources, events and links can be found at the UK Disability history month website www.ukdisabilityhistorymonth.com

The theme of UK Disability History Month 2013 is ‘Celebrating our struggle for independent living: no return to the institution and isolation’.
This resource has been commissioned from UKDHM and Richard Rieser by the National Union of Teachers.
All state funded schools have a general duty to promote equality for disabled people under the Equality Act (2010 see www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/vision…/disability-equality/ ‎). This consists of the:
• Elimination of discrimination, harassment and victimisation
• Advancing of equality of opportunity.
• Fostering of good relations.
Utilising these resources will help teachers fulfil these statutory requirements, develop disability equality and create greater understanding of the position of disabled people and their treatment over time.
The treatment of disabled people has varied over time, as has thinking about physical and mental difference. Overwhelmingly the experience has been negative, but there are always individuals and episodes of history that go against the grain, resulting in positive experiences for certain disabled people. Here we will limit ourselves to examining the last 1000 years in England and Wales. This will not be a systematic history, as researchers are only in the last 10 years or so examining the history of disabled people, but a number of historic snap shots based on our current limited knowledge. Those with physical and mental impairments [loss of function of parts or systems of their body on a long term or permanent basis], have through most of this period not been identified as disabled people but as different -enough to be picked out and often picked upon. The focus will be on the UKDHM theme of isolation and institutionalisation and in the last 50 years the development of independent living and current threats to it.
Strong stereotypes of disabled people as pitiable, evil, penitent sinners, laughable, perpetual children, a burden/threat reoccur in art, literature, drama, folklore, music and more recently in newspapers, cinema, television. These often reinforce negative treatment and bullying. They contrast with the lived experience of disabled people, which can be as variable as any other person’s life.
A fuller treatment of these can be found in the ‘Report of the Invisible Children Conference’ http://www.worldofinclusion.com/res/invisible/Invisible_Children.pdf and in Colin Barnes ‘Disabling Imagery and the Media’. http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/Barnes-disabling-imagery.pdf and BFI ‘Disabling Imagery’ http://www.worldofinclusion.com/res/disimg/Disabling_Imagery_text.doc
These web pages will provide materials and activities to develop an understanding of the lives of disabled people at selected times in the last 1000 years.
A very useful history of his period, resources and activities has recently been provided by English Heritage using 400 listed buildings. http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/disability-in-time-and-place/disability-tk.pdf
Below is an outline of what is available on this site in terms of teachers notes, information and activities sheets for students, with appropriate web links. The material for students has been graded KS 2, 3, 4 or 5. Some can be used directly by students but It is advisable that teachers directing students to this material familiarise themselves with it . The way in which teachers and students think and speak about disabled people is crucial. Start reading and undertaking activities in Section A.
These pages will cover:
1.Introductory Activities[Section A]
Teachers go first [A1 Teachers guide to Ways of thinking and speaking about disability]
It is important for students to approach the past treatment of disabled people from current equality based approaches to prevent the reinforcement of still prevalent negative ideas.
The definition of disability [A3 Information ad Activities -Who are disabled people-definition].Activity [A3] also provides an activity for getting students to examine different illnesses and impairments and identify which is a long term impairment that would be classified as a disability under the 2010 Equality Act. Understanding difference between traditional, medical and social model approaches is essential. Scope have developed a useful approach to explaining the different models using ‘Winnie the Witch’ suitable for younger children [A2]. Activities [A3,A4 and A5] are aimed at getting students to understand the different approaches.
The Language used to describe disabled people and their impairments changes over time. In historical context we have used original language for the period. Much of this would be considered offensive by disabled people today. It is therefore useful for students to undertake the activity Language and Disabled People [A7]. To help with this activity and aid understanding we provide a glossary of the origin of negative words associated with disabled people [A8].
i) Disability Time and Place English Heritage: Teachers’ Kit
Teachers’ Notes provide a useful historical overview[ http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/disability-in-time-and-place/disability-tk.pdf]
Activities provide many further useful approaches[ http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/disability-in-time-and-place/disability-tk-activities.pdf]
Image Resources are based on relevant photos of English Heritage Buildings [http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/publications/disability-in-time-and-place/disability-tk-images.pdf]

B Disability History Timelines: The struggle for equal rights through the ages
It is important for students to get a broad understanding of the change in the social position, treatment and changing attitudes to disabled people.
Scope, [www.scope.org.uk/help-and-information/education/disability-histor ] in their oral history project ‘Speaking for Ourselves’ provided a useful schools pack. [B1] provides activities around their 100 year time line for KS2/3.
An on-line oral history film(15.21) addresses the changing position of people with cerebral palsy [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBo2EpL9nbc&feature=player_embedded] KS3/4
This new [Timeline] commissioned by NHS North West Equalities, aims to document how attitudes towards disability have differed (or not) through the ages and across cultures. It also marks the contribution of individuals and groups to advancements in health and social care in relation to disability. It highlights legal and other landmarks in the struggles towards equal rights of disabled people. We also provide this as a PDF [B5].
[http://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/CubeCore/.uploads/E&D/Useful_Links_Docs/Disability%20Time%20Line%20-%20NHS%20North%20West.pdf] The Activity [B2] for KS3/4 utilises this 48 page publication.
Leeds University in their DEEPS project demonstrated that KS2 children have a very distorted view of disabled people mainly considering they don’t achieve and stay at home. [http://www.sociology.leeds.ac.uk/research/projects/deeps/] It is therefore important for students to get a better idea about the rich diversity of disabled people’s lives and how much they have achieved over time in the world. Activity [B3] provides a downloadable exercise of 27 disabled people who have made a difference and then a series of web lists by different impairment for extension work.
[B4] utilises Tom Shakespeare’s blog, where he has gone into biographic detail-Our Statue Touches the Skies [http://disabledlives.blogspot.co.uk/]The language will suit more able KS4/5 students.
C. Disability in the Feudal and Medieval period
[C1 Teachers’ notes] provides an overview.
This period was dominated by traditional beliefs in impairments as punishment and/or curable by faith and religion. Pilgrimages of disabled people and others were common to holy shrines. Recently, historians’ research is suggesting that although miracles where widely recorded, the population was more accepting of physical and mental differences than previously thought.[C2 Miracle Cures -Information and Activities]
The first hospitals and care for those with severe impairments occurred in the Monasteries. [C3]Disability In Medieval Hospitals and Almshouses Information and Activities (KS 2,3,4). [C4 ]The Time of Leprosy: 11th Century to 14th Century Information and Activities (KS2,3, 4).

D. Disabled People in the Period 1485 to 1660
[D1]Teachers’ Notes
[D2].Natural Fools in the court of Henry VIII, Hampton Court, PHSE KS2, History, Drama KS3/4[D3] [D4].Lives of Disabled People in C16th. Info sheet Activities KS2/3
E. The Poor Law Starting with the responses to labour shortage following the ‘Black Death’, this section analyses the forerunners of the Elizabethan Poor Law relying on the parish ‘out-door relief’.This changes with the beginnings of a more austere emphasis on ‘indoor relief’, leading to the 1834 New Poor Law Amendment Act (PLAA). [E1] provides an overall review. Activity [E2] links to resources in the National Archive to examine the impact of the PLAA (KS3/4). [E3] provides activities on the Old and New Poor law and disabled people (KS3/4/5). Some of these can be adapted for younger students. [E4] provides statistics in graphs of numbers on poor relief and expenditure-something that continually exercises politicians and the owning classes. Disabled people were swept up in the push to make poor law relief the worst option for non-disabled people, the principle of ‘less eligibility’ and this undoubtedly led to disabled people being institutionalised and devalued, which is still impacting today.
F Mental Deficiency and Eugenics
In the wake of Darwin and faced with rapid urbanisation, poverty and social breakdown caused by capitalism, many Victorians in the ‘chattering classes’ came to wrongly identify illegitimacy, alcoholism, petty theft and failure of working class children in the new state education system with the ‘evil’ of mental deficiency. The impact on disabled people and people with learning difficulties, in particular, was dramatic. [F1 Information Sheet]. Meanwood Park was set up in 1920 on the outskirts of Leeds, eventually housing 2000 disabled people compulsorily under the strictures of 1913 Mental Deficiency Act. [F2 Meanwood Park]provides a student activity utilising internet sources. [F3] provides the blueprints for Mental Deficiency Hospitals provided by the Lunacy Commission in 1919 [Referred to in F2].
G. Closure of Long Stay Institutions and the struggle to live in the community.
Slowly through scandals in the media about the inhumane treatment of inmates at Ely, Borocourt, St Lawrence’s Hospitals and many others, pressure built up for community care. This was added to by important research by psychologists that established Intelligence was not fixed and that people with learning difficulties could learn employable skills. The change was very slow starting in 1959, but the last long stay hospital did not shut until 2009. [G1] provides an information sheet on the closures of long stay institutions. [G2-The Camden Society] sketches the history of one local organisation for people with learning difficulties and their struggles to establish supported living in the community. [G3] are activities on the Camden Society and People First (KS2-4). In [G4] Mabel Cooper tells her story of being placed in St Lawrence’s Mental Deficiency Hospital to eventually coming out to supported living and then living independently. Mabel also became a great campaigner and member of People First-the self advocacy organisation of people with learning difficulties.
Parallel to learning difficulty and mental deficiency but far longer in its impact on disabled peoples lives’ has been the treatment of those classed as ‘insane’, ‘lunatic’ or as they have been known more recently, ‘mentally ill’ or ‘mental health system users or survivors’.
From the beginning of human development those with mental health issues have been viewed as possessed by spirits or demons or lost souls in terms of religion. 3500 years ago trepanning of people’s skulls was an early , usually fatal treatment.
Those with severe ‘melancholia’/depression or ‘manias’/psychosis were for more than 750 years placed in hospitals such as Bedlam in London. Here they were inhumanly and viciously treated. Social reformers set up asylums, as a place of safety, were soon overtaken by massive expansion in C19th, overcrowding and experimentation.
Gradually from 1950s to 1990s the long-stay mental hospitals were closed. Care in the community which replaced them was largely made possible by psycho-tropic drugs, was carried out on the cheap. The human relationships and support needed were not developed or sufficiently planned.
Increasingly people with mental health joined the ranks of the homeless and the prison population. The transformation to a ‘social model’ approach is still largely not happening, instead a resurgence of a ‘medical model’ approach with its reliant on widespread use of drugs is dominant. Despite these developments a vibrant ‘Survivors Movement’ played an important part in de-institutionalization and liberation of the mental health system users.
See [G5] is an Information Sheet suitable KS4/5 on the History of Mental Illness and Mental Health Problems and [G6] KS4/5 Activities on Mental Health.
H. The Struggle for Human Rights and Independent Living
The Disabled People’s Movement in the last 50 years has struggled to get the world to understand that the old medical model approach-focusing on our impairments and what disabled people cannot do, is incredibly wasteful of human potential and denies disabled people their human rights. [H1] outlines the principles of Independent Living, as they have evolved over time. [H2] is an information sheet on the life and thinking of Simon Brisenden, a young disabled campaigner for independent living. (Activities KS4/5 English Factual and Drama and History). [H3] shows, through the life and music of Johnny Crescendo, a musical voice for the aspirations of the Disabled People’s Movement and founder of the Direct Action Network.(Activities KS 2,3,4 Music, English, PHSE, History)
Materials for Reception and Key Stage 1 can be found in All Equal All Different online athttp://www.worldofinclusion.com/res/alleq/Pack_Contents.pdf
See [Relevant resources] for more links and information.