Learning Disability History, Health and Social Care   Going in and getting out after 20 years Image by Kevin Chettle
  Our Research Group  
  Annual Conferences  
  Video Testimonies  
  Life Stories  

Welcome to the webpages of the Social History of Learning Disability research group.

We are a group of people at the Open University who are researching the history of learning disability in several different ways:

• We run annual conferences
• We produce life stories
• The Open University holds the Maureen Oswin archive
• We write books and papers.

Our 2014 conference was held on 14th and 15th July 2014, and was entitled Exploring positive practice in learning disability: past and present.

We are in the process of rebuilding the SHLD website, and the abstracts and audios from the 2014 conference are not yet available. We apologise for any inconvience this may cause but hope to have them up soon.

• You can read abstracts for previous conferences and seminars.

At our Testimonies of Resistance in Learning Disability History conference we made video recordings of conference speakers. You can watch the video testimonies to find out what our speakers had to say on the topic of resistance.

News items

A sad farewell to Mabel Cooper

Mabel Cooper (1944-2013)
We are sad to announce that Mabel Cooper, a long standing member of the SHLD group and friend of the Open University, died on 22 March 2013. Mabel's life story became famous around the world after it appeared, to great acclaim, in SHLD's book Forgotten Lives (1997). She was a remarkable woman, inspirational and charismatic, but also generous and warm-hearted. She will be much missed by all her friends and colleagues. You can read Mabel's obituary here.

2013 Conference

Our 2013 Conference 'Avoiding more Winterborne views' was held on 8th July 2013. Click here for details.


Older news

Please click here to read archived news stories.