“Let Us Show You” – Shona Casola

an artists palate

“Let Us Show You” is a group art project.

 

 

a photograph of four people with their arms around each other

 

The group was young people labelled with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

a man painting a picture

 

The group wanted to express their experiences being a labelled person through art.

 

a pen

 

They created drawings using pens, markers and paints.

 

an artists palate

 

Everyone made individual drawings first and then shared them with everyone.

 

a person holding a card with a woman's picture and the letter ID

 

The art was about identity.

 

a large group of disabled people

 

The art was about having meaningful connections with other people.

 

A photograph of two couples holding each other.

 

The art was about wanting to belong and be accepted for being different.

 

a piece of framed art

 

The group decided to exhibit their work.

 

a picture of people sitting in a group with the words meeting hall underneath the image

 

They found a venue in the community.

 

hand holding a pen

 

The audience was asked to write out their thoughts and comments about the art.

 

People around a table

 

The group met again to discuss the comments and what it was like to exhibit their art.

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Scholarly Soundbytes

Dear Making Space participants!

The formal ‘presentations’ on September 2nd depart from conventional academic/conference format.  We’ve elected to go with a scholarly sound-bite format. Our hope is for everyone to share their work and keep the pace lively. Each university-based presenter has 1 (ONE) minute to introduce themselves and 2 (TWO) minutes to introduce their work (e.g. thesis, method, key learnings, theoretical innovations and so forth).  We’ve seen this format work very well in the past.  Here is a link to an example a scholarly sound-bite from a recent Toronto symposium about  women’s health.

After the presentation of 5 or 6 soundbites, there will be lots of time for discussion.  Our intention is to use this time to begin to forge connections that will carry forward through the next two workshop days and beyond.

Kind regards,

Ann, Kirsty, Katherine and Esther

Desiring Disability, Intimacy, and Community – Eliza Chandler

A photograph of a woman with her finger on her chin. She has two question bubbles above her head.

 

This will help us think about disability community.

 

map of the world

 

Disability communities avoid colonialism.

 

three large bags of money

 

Colonialism means trying to take over or control another country and make money from it.

 

A photograph of the Canadian flag.

 

Disability communities avoid nationalism.

 

american flag

 

Nationalism is feeling better that your country is better than other countries.

 

a large group of disabled people

 

Disability communities think about citizenship without nationalism or colonialism.

 

A photograph of a diverse group of people in a circle which reads "citizenship"

 

Citizenship is about our rights and access to equality, fairness and justice.

 

a woman reading a book

 

Eliza will use story-telling and story listening to help us think about disability communities.

 

a woman reading a book

 

These stories will show many different possibilities for community.

 

three people outside a house. One person is using a wheelchair

 

Stories about community can create community.

“Picture This”: The PhotoChangers Use Photography to Tell People about Issues Important to their Lives

camera

We used photography to tell people about what is important in our lives.

 

A circle enclosed a magnifying glass. Inside the glass are people pointing to a table together

 

We worked as co-researchers with Ann Fudge Schormans.

 

a photograph of two people with their arms around each other giving the thumbs up

 

Co-researchers are labelled people who work with researchers from universities.

 

photograph of a man with a camera. an arrow from the camera points to three empty boxes.

 

We also worked with a photographer.

 

The number 3

 

We used 3 different type of photography.

 

a man with a speech bubble coming from his mouth

 

We used photo-voice.

 

People around a table

 

Photo-voice means we took photographs of what is important in our lives and then together we interpreted them.

 

man with a camera

 

We used photo-documentary.

 

Photostory_compact

 

Photo-documentary means that we took photographs that documented events in our day to day lives.

 

a photograph of a woman with her arm spread out next to a theatre mask

 

We used photo-theatre.

 

a group of people around a table with a large magnifying glass superimposed on the table

 

Photo-theatre means we took photographs about a topic and then we re-made the images.

 

a man taking a photograph using a tripod

 

We took photographs that show people our experiences and opinions.

 

a red stop sign with three people inside

 

We want to show people how we see barriers to parenting.

 

a photograph of a man with holding out his empty pocket

 

We want to show how we view being poor and being unemployed.

 

a man and a woman holding each other

 

We want to show what we think about relationships and sexuality.

 

a photograph of a group of people who are holding each other

 

We want to use photography to show belonging.

 

a photograph of a woman with her arm spread out next to a theatre mask

 

We acted out and photographed our experiences as labelled people.

 

Photograph of a pregnant woman's belly.

 

We tell stories about adoption and about how we are not allowed to be parents.

 

Work_Capability_Assessment_compact

 

We show how having a disability means you have no money.

 

a large red X

 

Not having money means you can’t afford to have a baby.

What is Big Society?

Introduction

A photograph of Jodie Bradley.

 

This is Jodie and she works at Speakup.

 

 

A photograph of Vicky Farnsworth.

 

 

This is Vicky and she also works at Speakup.

 

Logo for Speakup Self Advocacy

 

Speakup is a self-advocacy organization in Rotherham in the UK.

 

 

A circle enclosed a magnifying glass. Inside the glass are people pointing to a table together

Jodie and Vicky are co-researchers.

Together with university researchers they are asking how are people with a learning disability doing at a time of cuts in the UK?

 

 

We are all working together.

Northumbria University logo Foundation of People with learning disabilities logo Circles of Support Logo University of Bristol logo University of Sheffield logo Manchester Metropolitan University logoMencap logo

What we are doing

a photograph of people at a meeting

 

We are talking to people with learning disabilities, their families, friends and allies.

 

 

A group of people

Spending time with people with learning disabilities in self-advocacy groups, at work and in circles of support. Finding out about whether The Big Society idea is creating opportunities for people with learning disabilities in society.

 

What the government says Big Society is…

three people outside a house. One person is using a wheelchair

 

Communities doing more for themselves.Volunteering in your community.

 

 

A photograph of the British parliament buildings.

 

The government is saying they will do less and local and voluntary groups must do more.

 

 

What do people with learning disabilities think the Big Society is?

A photograph of a woman looking confused with a question mark beside her.

 

As part of our research we asked people “what do you think Big Society is?”

 

 

Here are some of the things they said…

a man scratching his head with a question mark to his right

 

We are not sure what Big Society is!

 

 

three people outside a house. One person is using a wheelchair

 

We think it might be about different communities working better together.

 

 

a photograph of scissors

 

We think that Big Society is just another name for funding cuts.

 

 

People also said…

photograph of a woman with her head down and her arms folded across her chest

 

We think that some people with learning disabilities are becoming more lonely.

 

 

a brick building with a large sign which reads 'closed down'

 

We think this is because there are not so many places open for them to meet.

We have noticed that services for people with learning disabilities have closed down.

People said…

a photograph of a group of people who are holding each other

 

Friendship Circles are important. Having a friendship circle helps us to enjoy our life and helps us when our lives get heard.

 

 

A photograph of three people with their arms around each other.

 

It’s important to have people who you trust in your life.

 

People also told us…

A photograph of two couples holding each other.

 

People with learning disabilities have got families, friends and jobs.

 

 

a photograph of four disabled people with speech bubbles around them

 

People with learning disabilities are speaking up for themselves.

 

 

The words NHS in a magnifying glass

 

People with learning disabilities are having their say on partnership boards, National Health Service commissioning groups and on Care Quality Commission Inspections.

 

We have asked people… What is self-advocacy?

a man with his hand raised

 

How has self-advocacy helped you or other people?

 

 

a woman using a wheelchair with her hand raised

 

Why self-advocacy still matters?

 

 

a woman using a wheelchair with her hand raised

 

What would happen if you self-advocacy services were cut?

 

 

What is Self Advocacy? This is what people said…

four disabled people together with their arms raised

Campaigning for things what we are passionate about fighting for our rights.

Being a rep for people with learning disabilities sharing other opinions on their behalf.

 

 

How has self-advocacy helped you or other people? This is what people have said…

a photograph of a man

 

Being a self advocate and coming to the self advocacy group has helped me with my social skills and speak more clearly. I have also improved on my writing skills.

 

photograph of a woman

Being a self advocate has helped me to asking for advice when you receive jargon information for e.g. letters I get I tell my self advocacy group to reassure me or help me understand.

Why self-advocacy still matters?

a photograph of scissorsIn 2011, the Disability News Service[1] reported devastating cuts to the funding for self-advocacy organisations in the UK. They reported that the number of groups who are members of People First had dropped from 120 – 97.

 

 

This is what people have said…

a photograph of four disabled people with speech bubbles around them

 

Self Advocacy matters because people with learning disabilities and /or autism need the chance to talk about things that affect their lives and how to improve services.

 

What would happen if you self-advocacy services were cut?

A photograph of Vicky Farnsworth.I would have less things to do. I would lose my confidence, I would have to find another job so that I could pay my mortgage; but jobs are hard to find for people with learning disabilities. I have two girls and I wouldn’t make ends meet. I would be lonely, my advocacy group forms part of my circle of support.

 

 

a photograph of a woman

I would be lost without my advocacy service. They have given me a lot of advice around benefits and letters to help me understand what they are about.

 

 

People also said…

a man with benefit pamphlets around him

 

They are worried about benefit changes.

 

 

a woman looking worried

 

They are worried about services changing.

 

 

a photograph of scissors

 

 

They are worried about cuts to social care.

 

Jodie’s story …

A photograph of Jodie Bradley.Being a self advocate has made me more confident in new things. I have more friends than I had at school and college.

Since I came to a self advocacy group, I have done things that I have never dreamed of doing like being an inspector for the Care Quality Commission and being a representative/trainer for different projects.

It is important that self advocacy services are not cut.

Some important messages from the research so far

a photograph of a man

 

It’s important that self advocacy services are not cut because speaking up for yourselves/sharing what you have learnt with others giving other people confidence.

 

 

Important Messages

a photograph of a manIt has given me job experience and more understanding of other people, it has given me more confidence.

I have got good I.T. skills and I have had a chance to use my skills.

I am also a trainer for My Health and I’m A Person Too which are training courses to train doctors, nurses, the job centre, the police, receptionists and students how to work with people with a learning disability and/or autism.

As part of our research called The Researcher in Residence Phase

disabled woman points at man in suitWe are asking our MPs and other political parties to talk with us about how to make their manifestos easier to understand so that people can vote and understand what they are voting for.

We wrote to the political parties asking for information… they didn’t reply.

 

 

accessible voting ticket

 

 

Accessible information to help people make decisions is so important.

 

 

 

To learn more about the Big Society, Disability and Civil Society Research go to their website.

Re-Imagining Parenting Possibilities Workshop

A photograph of a woman holding a book which reads 'easy read'

 

This is written in Easy Read so everyone can read it.

 

 

 

This is about the Re-imagining Parenting Possibilities Self-Advocate Working Group theatre workshop.

 

The logo for Springtide Resources

Re-Imagining Parenting Possibilities began because of the work of community organizations Springtide Resources, Centre for Independent Living Toronto and SPIN (Strength-based Parenting Initiative).

 

Logo for Centre for Independent Living

 

These groups noticed how labelled people were excluded and treated differently when it came to parenting. This lead to the creation of the Re-Imagining Parenting Possibilities group.

 

A drawn Map of Ontario

 

 

Re-Imagining Parenting Possibilities is a group from Ontario, Canada.

 

 

 

Ryerson University Logo

The group includes labelled people and researchers from McMaster and Ryerson Universities.

 

McMaster University Logo

photograph of people sitting at a table which has papers spread out on it.

 

They worked together as researchers and co-researchers.

 

 

A circle enclosed a magnifying glass. Inside the glass are people pointing to a table together

 

Co-researchers are people from the community who help university researchers in all of the research.

 

 

a photograph of two people with their arms around each other giving the thumbs up

 

It was important that the co-researchers be labelled people.

 

 

a photograph of four disabled people with speech bubbles around them

 

The group wanted to make sure that labelled people were a part of research about how labelled people can parent.

 

 

a photograph of two people with papers facing a person across a table

 

They collected stories from labelled people all over Ontario about why they are parents or why they are not parents.

 

 

photograph of large group of people around a table with papers

 

Together the group read the collected stories many times.

 

 

A circle enclosed a magnifying glass. Inside the glass are people pointing to a table together

 

Together the group decided what were the important ideas.

 

 

 

a group of people around a table with a large magnifying glass superimposed on the table

 

The group focused on how people responded to labelled people saying they wanted to be parents.

 

 

a photograph of a woman with her arm spread out next to a theatre mask

 

The group took parts of these stories and turned them into scenes to be performed.

 

 

a photograph of three people who are inside a hand drawn circle

 

People who come to the workshop can be a part of each scene.

 

 

two hand drawn theatre masks with the words 'forum theatre'

 

The scenes are a type of theatre called forum theatre.

 

 

 

a photograph of a woman with her arm spread out next to a theatre mask

 

In forum theatre scenes are about oppression.

 

 

A photograph of a man using a wheelchair putting his thumb down. He is holding a sign with a large red X on it.

 

Oppression is when one group of people is treated unfairly or unjustly.

 

 

a photograph of a woman with her arm spread out next to a theatre mask

 

The Re-Imagining Parenting Possibilities scenes are about dis/ableism.

 

 

a photograph of a woman in a wheel chair sitting at the bottom of a set of stairs

 

Dis/ableism is when people with disabilities are treated unfairly because of their disability.

 

 

photograph of a woman with her arms folded and head down. there are two men in the background pointing at her

 

In the Re-Imagining Parenting Possibilities scenes people act out the ways in which labelled people are treated when they say they want to be parents.

 

 

photograph of a woman holding her head

 

This means that the scenes can be painful and hard to watch.

 

 

 

a red stop sign with three people inside

 

But the audience can act in the scene and can stop the scene to change what happens.

 

 

photograph of man with his hand up and a stern look on his face

 

Stopping the scene and changing what happens can help us to explore different ways that labelled people can parent.