We recently took part in a research project about the history of learning disability with Dr Owen Barden, a senior lecturer in disability and education at Liverpool Hope University. The project was centred around the social and medical treatment of people with learning disabilities in the past compared with the present day.
The research group consisted of academics, education specialists and volunteers and service users from The Brain Charity - some of whom have learning disabilities themselves or who care for those who do. The group focused on a medical textbook from 1877 that detailed the medical history of a lady called Antonia Gardoni, who lived in Italy, and the life that she had led.
Five research workshops were held, and some lively discussions around the theme of learning disability took place, with people sharing their own experiences and stories. Various methods were used to capture thoughts and feelings around the subject including collages, hand written post-it notes and real-time illustrations by a professional graphic artist.
The team were invited to present their findings at the International Conference on Education, Cultural and Disability Studies that was held at Liverpool Hope University in July and they were very well received by the audience.
To find out more about the project and view the findings visit: www.thebraincharity.org.uk/antonia