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Book

Disability and discourse: analysing inclusive conversation with people with intellectual disabilities

Author:
WILLIAMS Val
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Publication year:
2011
Pagination:
257p.
Place of publication:
Chichester

This book applies and explains Conversation Analysis (CA), an established methodology for studying communication, to explore what happens during the everyday encounters of people with intellectual disabilities and the other people with whom they interact. It explores conversations and encounters from the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, and introduces the established methodology of Conversation Analysis, making it accessible and useful to a wide range of students, researchers and practitioners. The book adopts a discursive approach which looks at how people with intellectual disabilities use talk in real-life situations, while showing how such talk can be supported and developed, and follows people into the meetings and discussions that take place in self-advocacy and research contexts. It then offers insights into how people with learning disabilities can have a voice in their own affairs, in policy-making, and in research.

Journal article

Skills for support: personal assistants and people with learning disabilities

Authors:
WILLIAMS Val, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(1), March 2010, pp.59-67.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

For people with learning disabilities to have control over their lives, the quality of their support staff matters. This paper reports on an inclusive research study, which used video analysis to study the communication skills of personal assistants (PAs) who worked with people with learning disabilities. The findings reveal some of the fine detail in the strategies these PAs used, to show respect, support choices, and give advice. They were able to step back, to listen and observe the person with learning disabilities, and to use good, open body language. They also gave people time, built up a close relationship based on shared interests and activities, and they talked with people in a friendly, adult way. It is difficult to support people to manage their lives, and team work is important. People with learning disabilities also have to play their role in the relationship. This research produced training materials that will help people with learning disabilities to train and support their own PAs.

Book Full text available online for free

Behind the scenes: work in Europe

Authors:
WILLIAMS Val, WATSON Debby
Publisher:
MENCAP
Publication year:
2001
Pagination:
60p.
Place of publication:
London

The Video Journalism in Europe project produced three videos, entitled “Work in Europe”. These were made by people with learning difficulties who attended video training courses, developed as part of the project. On the videos, viewers meet workers with learning difficulties in different parts of Northern Europe who have succeeded in finding work. However, there are immense barriers that face thousands of other people with learning difficulties throughout Europe. That is why this report focuses first on the barriers and challenges.

Book

Researching Together: conference pack: held in Bristol 28th January 1999

Editors:
WILLIAMS Val, GYDE Karen (comp.)
Publisher:
Norah Fry Research Centre
Publication year:
1999
Pagination:
98p.
Place of publication:
Bristol

The research supporter needs to learn how to step back, and find ways for researchers with learning difficulties to do things for themselves. It is important that people with learning difficulties know how powerful they can be when they are doing research.

Journal article

'I do like the subtle touch': interactions between people with learning difficulties and their personal assistants

Authors:
WILLIAMS Val, PONTING Lisa, FORD Kerrie
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 24(7), December 2009, pp.815-828.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

Direct payments promise to deliver autonomy for disabled people but much would seem to depend on the way the disabled person (the employer) and their support staff (the employees) handle their interactions. There is currently only limited information about how this relationship is played out in real situations. These matters are particularly important for people with learning difficulties, who have routinely been restricted and controlled by their support staff. The authors present an analysis, based on 620 minutes of video material, of the interactions between 14 pairs of people with learning difficulties and their personal assistants in the West of England. The filming covered home-based domestic and social activities and excursions outside the home. The paper examines how difficult tasks, such as giving advice, can be accomplished in ways that people with learning difficulties find acceptable. It is concluded that successful interactions are built on sensitivity to the wishes of the person, on a moment by moment basis. It is necessary that both parties coordinate their body language, humour and timing to demonstrate a close and friendly relationship, but equally one that is both professional and on the terms of the direct payments employer.

Journal article

What good support is all about

Authors:
WILLIAMS Val, et al
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, November 2009, pp.36-39.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

'Skills for Support' was a research study conducted between 2005 and 2007 to find out what people with learning disabilities want from their personal assistants or other one-to-one supporters. The research methods used included surveys, individual and group interviews and video sessions of people with learning disabilities interacting with their personal assistants. This article focuses on the final video stage of the project and its practical findings. Five of the key outcomes identified were showing respect, giving choices, being friendly, giving good advice and supporting people to speak up. A resource pack was produced which includes a DVD of extracts from the videos to illustrate the five key themes.

Journal article

The blurred edges of intellectual disability

Authors:
WILLIAMS Val, SWIFT Paul, MASON Victoria
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 30(5), 2015, pp.704-716.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

The label of ‘intellectual disability’ can be a very blurred concept, because for those on the borders their label often arises from the interaction of the individual with their environment, from their socio-economic status, and from the social role which they choose to undertake. This paper explores the contested notion of intellectual disability in the context of two people who have been in trouble with the law in England. It contrasts the situation of people who have been protected by best interests decisions under the Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales), with people who are on the ‘borderline’ of having an intellectual disability. Drawing on the notions of ‘interactional’ disability theory, the authors reflect on the shifting, relative nature of intellectual disability, and the need for the law to focus on support needs, rather than on impairment. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Money, rights and risks: a scoping review of financial issues for people with learning disabilities in the UK

Authors:
WILLIAMS Val, et al
Publisher:
Friends Provident Foundation
Publication year:
2007
Pagination:
53p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
Dorking

This report reviews financial issues for people with learning disabilities and their families, across the UK. It draws on a wide range of recent and ongoing research in the field of learning disability, as well as three focus groups for 25 people with learning disabilities in different areas of the country and ten individual interviews. There is also some reflection about the issues for financial providers, based on a small sample of interviews, and the report ends with recommendations for practice and further research. Key findings show that many people with learning disabilities had little control of their own resources. They were mostly given ‘pocket money’, which they spent on small non-essential items. People had few opportunities to improve their financial knowledge. Personal incomes were low, and some had taken on credit that they did not understand, and could not afford. The report concludes that those with learning disabilities need planned financial support packages when they move into independent living. They also need safeguards, to ensure minimal financial risk. Family carers and support staff need advice, information and training in offering financial support

Journal article

'It is time to stop talking and start doing': the views of people with learning disabilities on future research

Authors:
MARRIOTT Anna, WILLIAMS Val, TOWNSLEY Ruth
Journal article citation:
Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 7(2), Autumn 2010, pp.132-147.
Publisher:
South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust and University of Huddersfield

A scoping exercise to determine the research priorities for the field of learning disabilities for the next 10 years is described. Specific focus of this paper is on the role of people with learning disabilities in setting this research agenda. A detailed description of the methodology used is given. The first stage included a series of regional workshops involving people with learning disabilities, held in Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds and London which aimed to identify the main issues and problems in the lives of people with learning disabilities. Data from these identified six priority themes: access to health care; getting good support; the right to relationships; housing options; work and personal finance; and inclusion in the community. The literature was then reviewed for published research in these areas and then further workshops were held in all four geographical areas to identify research gaps. A focus group was then held with nine researchers in the field. A summary of the findings in the six priority areas is presented. It is commented that the findings show that it is possible to involve people with learning disabilities in setting a research agenda. Their inclusion provided a perspective that could not be adequately represented by other stakeholder groups. People with learning disabilities were concerned that research has a meaningful impact and can lead to demonstrable improvements in care. In order for this to happen there is a need for widespread dissemination of accessible outputs that reach the relevant stakeholders.

Journal article

What are friends for

Authors:
HESLOP Pauline, WILLIAMS Val, HOADLEY Sally
Journal article citation:
Young Minds Magazine, 77, July 2005, pp.16-17.
Publisher:
YoungMinds

Young people with both mental health problems and learning disabilities are commonly regarded as doubly disadvantaged. This article reports on a project called Mind the Gap aimed at improving the emotional resilience and mental health support for young people who fall into this category. The project, a collaborative venture at the Norah Fry Research Centre at the University of Bristol carried out from 2002 to 2004, led to the development of the course The Strongest Link. The Strongest Link is run by and for young people with learning disabilities in Somerset. It is directed to prepare the participants for adulthood by encouraging open emotional expression and by getting them to think of ways that they could get help for themselves.

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