Edited by David G Race.
You might expect an academic collection about learning
difficulties to include the familiar diet of idealistic visions
relating to rights, the social model of disability, inclusion,
choice and control.
All these themes are indeed to be found in David Race’s book,
but unusually they are rooted in the experiences and practice of
the learning difficulties degree course at Stockport. Rather than
being parochial, this gives a welcome reality check to each aspect
of policy or theory that is presented.
The fine statements of value in government are set against the
real experiences of people with learning difficulties. For example,
two people with learning difficulties and their former advocate
explore the cruel injustice that was meted out by social services,
who summarily removed the couple’s two children. They also reflect
on the difficulties of effective advocacy.
The contributions in this book are varied in style and content.
The meaty chapters written by Race himself provide some very
readable and interesting historical critiques of learning
difficulties and practice, while others simply offer a passionate
promotion of single issues, such as inclusive education. This book
is rich in thought-provoking challenges, as well as solid
Val Williams is research associate, Norah Fry Research