People, Policies and Professionals

By Sally Sainsbury.
ISBN 0 7546 0977

The launch of the All Wales Strategy in 1983 signalled a major
restructuring of services for people with learning difficulties in
Wales. Designed to enable people in this group to enjoy the
benefits of inclusion in their communities, the strategy envisaged
that they would live in ordinary houses, work in local industries
and enjoy the same leisure opportunities as other people.  

In this study of the impact of the strategy in one small town in
south Wales, the author asks: “What communities do we have in mind
when we talk of including people in them?” She found that the
ultimate objective for professionals in community teams was to
enable everyone to live independently, without support, and without
being identified as having a learning difficulty.  

On the other hand, family members considered that the few people
who were likely to achieve such independence would be consigned to
a life of loneliness. They said inclusion could only be achieved
through interdependence with other people.

This study was completed in 1988 but has taken this long to be
published. Moreover, the bibliography has no references to recent
policy or research and the high price may deter many from buying
the book.  

Oliver Russell used to be chairperson of the learning
disability advisory group for the Welsh assembly.

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