All About Us! The Story of People with a Learning Disability and Mencap
Written, compiled and edited by Brian Rix, Mencap
ISBN 0 855370963,
STAR RATING: 4/5
This is a celebration of Mencap’s 60th birthday, writes Julian Budden.
It shows how Mencap has evolved to meet the challenges faced by people with learning difficulties, their carers and families in an ever-changing society.
As you would expect, after 60 years Mencap has made quite a few friends. Many of them have been asked to contribute their account of how family members with learning difficulties have influenced their lives. We hear from parents and professionals, people who work for Mencap and individuals who benefit from Mencap’s work. A few celebrities and political figures also have their tales to tell.
In a way, this is the strength and weakness of the book. Hearing so many voices has created a disjointed feel and it would be nice if more people with learning difficulties had their stories included.
That aside, some accounts are uplifting, some upsetting, while others tell us what has been achieved and where future challenges lie. This creates the impression that Mencap has a sense of purpose. It knows how to make a difference by working with, and for, people with learning difficulties.
If you are still in any doubt as to why Mencap should exist, watch the DVD included with the book. That alone is worth the cover price.
Julian Budden is a day centre manager, learning disability service, Trafford Council