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Journal article

Life histories as counter-narratives against dominant and negative stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
STEFANSDOTTIR Guorun V., TRAUSTADOTTIR Rannveig
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 30(3), 2015, pp.368-380.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

The history of intellectual disabilities is largely a story of discrimination and social exclusion portraying people with intellectual disability as abnormal and inferior. This article describes a particular methodological approach to inclusive life history research with a small group of women with intellectual disabilities in Iceland. The article documents how, through a four-year collaborative research process, the life histories became counter-narratives to dominant historical beliefs and stereotypes. In addition to the personal empowerment of the women and the construction of a collective memory, this project has also resulted in public sharing of their stories through speaking up and giving presentations, and thus potentially also changing the historical memory. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

‘The silence is roaring’: sterilization, reproductive rights and women with intellectual disabilities

Authors:
TILLEY Elizabeth, et al
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 27(3), May 2012, pp.413-426.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

This article explores the history of sterilization of women with intellectual disabilities, and considers its relevance to current practice regarding reproductive choice and futures. It provides an overview of published research on historical practices, focusing on the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and the Nordic countries. Most of this research draws upon written records, centring on eugenics debates. However, emerging oral history testimonies gathered by the authors suggest that sterilization procedures were also conducted in the community, the result of private negotiations between parents and medical practitioners. The article presents these accounts and calls for an end to the silence on this issue.

Journal article

Meet Josephine – she’s as good as a real live woman!

Authors:
DOUKAS Thomas, MORGAN Claire
Journal article citation:
Community Living, 26(1), 2013, pp.24-25.
Publisher:
Hexagon Publishing

The Josephine project, run by “Them Wifies” in Newcastle upon Tyne, provides a fun way to teach women with learning disabilities about their bodies. Josephine is a life-size anatomically correct cloth woman designed to bring a creative, fun and accessible approach to the health, sexual and relationship education using a range of approaches to ensure that the women are central to the thinking behind the project. The impact of Josephine’s awareness workshops has already started to show – the women now have access to useful medical information in a friendly environment where they can talk about their feelings, and share their fears and experiences.

Journal article

Saying no to sexual violence

Authors:
OLSEN Angela, HARRIS Karen
Journal article citation:
Learning Disability Today, August 2012, pp.12-15.
Publisher:
Pavilion
Place of publication:
Hove

For many women with learning disabilities, sexual violence appears to be a fact of life. Data has revealed that as a result of sex education, women with learning disabilities have very low self-esteem and are often socially isolated and end up in abusive relationships. This article details an approach to ending the suffering caused by these relationships, but suggests extra support is needed to be able to deal with this problem in a confident and positive way.

Digital Media

Kylie's private world: a sex education DVD

Authors:
LIFE SUPPORT PRODUCTIONS, (Producer)
Publisher:
Life Support Productions
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
DVD, booklet
Place of publication:
London

This sex education DVD has been developed for girls and women with learning disabilities. It places a strong emphasis on consent and how to both say "no" and understand when someone else says "no". Viewing notes and a resource list of useful organisations are included.

Journal article

A decade on: what have we learnt about supporting women with intellectual disabilities through the menopause?

Author:
WILLIS Diane S.
Journal article citation:
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 12(1), March 2008, pp.9-23.
Publisher:
Sage
Place of publication:
London

Carr and Hollins highlighted the paucity of research on the menopause in women with intellectual disabilities and, 10 years on, this area still remains poorly researched. Work exploring the age of onset of the menopause has suggested that the menopause is earlier in this group of women, but studies exploring what women with intellectual disabilities understand and experience during the menopause are limited. In this Scottish study 15 women with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities were interviewed using a semi-structured interview on a one-to-one basis about their knowledge and understanding of the menopause. Findings revealed limited accessible information about the menopause and a paucity in the women's knowledge and understanding about the menopause. This suggests a need for more accessible information, in order to increase understanding and awareness of the menopause in these women.

Journal article

Coping with their lives women, learning disabilities, self-harm and the secure unit: a Q-methodological study

Authors:
JAMES Melissa, WARNER Sam
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(3), September 2005, pp.120-127.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Deliberate self-harm represents a significant, yet it can be argued, a poorly theorized area of concern with respect to women who have learning disabilities  particularly in the context of secure service provision. Utilizing ideas from social constructionism the authors explore how some ways of understanding dominate the professional literature and, thereby, restrict how such women can be understood.  In order to identify how women with learning disabilities who self-harm are understood a Q-methodological study was conducted with patients and professionals in a medium secure unit. Six distinct accounts of why women self-harm emerged. These accounts emphasized that self-harming behaviour is meaningful and that women with learning disabilities are understood to have complex needs and a range of strategies for coping with these. The study, therefore, suggests that when working with such women consideration should be given to how they understand and manage their experiences, cognitions and emotions.

Journal article

New legislative proposals for women with learning disabilities and mental health problems

Authors:
McNAMARA Eileen, HALL Ian
Journal article citation:
Tizard Learning Disability Review, 9(4), October 2004, pp.36-40.
Publisher:
Emerald

Several proposed changes to the law in England and Wales will particularly affect women with learning disabilities. The Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the draft Mental Health and Mental Incapacity Bills all highlight the tension between state paternalism and individual autonomy. Uses a fictional case scenario to consider the practical implications of the proposed legislation, and dilemmas that may arise.

Journal article

Family planning for women with learning disabilities

Authors:
TAYLOR Gilian, PEARSON Jillian, COOK Helen
Journal article citation:
Nursing Times, 7.10.98, 1998, pp.60-61.
Publisher:
Nursing Times

Women with learning disabilities have specialist family planning needs. Looks at the success of a well-women service operating in Merton and Sutton tailored to this client group.

Journal article

‘What kind of abuse is him spitting in my food?’: reflections on the similarities between disability hate crime, so-called ‘mate’ crime and domestic violence against women with intellectual disabilities

Author:
McCARTHY Michelle
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 32(4), 2017, pp.595-600.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

Domestic violence against women with learning disabilities is a wholly under-researched topic. A recent study indicated that there are strong parallels between domestic violence, disability hate crime and ‘mate’ crime. This article explores these similarities and argues that rather than treating them as discrete phenomena, we need to make the connections and re-affirm the commitment that feminist scholars and activists made long ago, namely to take violence committed in private as seriously as that committed in public. (Publisher abstract)

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