Promoting an inclusive society
Partnership between higher education and people with learning difficulties
Rarely, if ever, have people with learning difficulties made such a significant contribution to courses in higher education. An interesting development involving a new BA course in Learning Disability Studies at the University of Manchester illustrates the potential for this kind of participation. It is, we believe, unique in following the social model of disability and in involving people with learning difficulties in the planning, teaching and monitoring of the course.
Representatives of self-advocacy groups are members of a steering group. Meetings are chaired by people with learning difficulties. The group has produced guidelines for the supervision of students on their placements. The programme aims to: bring about real change in the lives of people who have learning difficulties; encourage critical thinking about disability and difference; introduce students to emancipatory research methods; and prepare them for a variety of work roles in social care and education.