Resistance in Mencaps history
Mencaps history has changed over time within
a framework of resistance. However, the issues that members of the organisation
have resisted have changed since the Societys foundation in 1946, and
it is of particular interest to see how and why these shifts have occurred.
This presentation will concentrate mainly on Mencaps history from the
1970s. In the 1970s, the organisation was vigorously resisting cuts in services
for people with learning disabilities, at both the national and local level.
At this time, few members of the Society were questioning how their children
were being represented by Mencap, or indeed by anyone else, as they were more
concerned with securing basic provisions.
However, in subsequent years, the focus of many members resistance turned
towards Mencap itself, as some parents rejected the pitiful images that the
Society was portraying of their children in various publicity campaigns. This
presentation will show how the emergence of such debates impelled Mencap to
make considerable changes in the way it represented itself at the beginning
of the 1990s. It will also demonstrate how these developments affected the organisation
at a local level, creating new tensions, as well as easing old grievances.