Towards a Full Life – Researching Policy Innovation for People with Learning Disabilities

By David Felce, Gordon Grant et al.
Butterworth Heinemann
ISBN 0750 63196 1

The All Wales Strategy was a bold move to change services and
enhance the quality of life of people with learning difficulties
and their families. It was launched in 1983 and may be seen as the
forerunner of the 1989 White Paper, Caring for People and the 2001
White Paper, Valuing People. This book describes the programme of
research on the strategy undertaken over 12 years by research
centres in Cardiff and Bangor. The research ranged from studying
the strategy as a policy initiative to tracing and evaluating
changes in services, and their impact on the people using them.

Do new patterns of service lead to new ways of working? More
importantly, do changes in services lead to a better quality of
life? The strategy was ahead of its time in its commitment to high
ideals. The research shows that not all of the ideals resulted in
better practices or better lives. Nevertheless, development of
small houses in the community and the establishment of
self-advocacy groups. The book address issues still of relevance
today when similar ideals of choice and independence are seeking
expression in practice.

Dorothy Atkinson is senior lecturer, School of Health
and Social Welfare, Open University.


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