Learning Disability History, Health and Social Welfare  

2012 Conference

The full two-day programme, audios and abstracts from the 2012 Conference are now available on the Annual Conferences page.


A sad farewell to Doris Thorne

We are sad to report that Doris Thorne, a long-standing friend of the SHLD group, died on 3rd September 2011, aged 70. Doris worked with members of the SHLD group to tell her life story ('Goodbye All the Nurses') and to recall songs of resistance from her institutional days. She was a truly extraordinary woman. Click here to read Doris's obituary.


Honorary Degree for Mabel Cooper

Pictured here with Professor Dorothy Atkinson, Mabel Cooper received an Honorary Degree from The Open University at the Barbican in London in April 2010. The award was in recognition of Mabel's contribution to the University and the wider community.


Podcast on sterilisation

The history of the sterilisation of women with learning disabilities is a controversial, yet hidden, history. The SHLD group has produced a moving podcast programme which begins to explore the issues. You can listen to the podcast by clicking on either of these two links:


Kew Cottages History Project

The Kew Cottages History website presents the story of Kew Cottages, Australia's largest and oldest institution for people with learning disabilities. Developed as part of the Kew Cottages History Project, it allows the visitor to explore the history of the Cottages through archival documents, historic photographs, oral histories and video.


Days Gone By: The History of Day Centres for People with Learning Difficulties Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery, has recently been launched

Days Gone By is a participative research project which explores the history of learning disability through the changes in post-war day services provision.

The project is based in Croydon and works with people with learning difficulties to generate a unique insight into how changed perceptions of learning disability have affected policy and how these changes have been experienced.

By the end of the project in 2008, the Days Gone By project will have produced a booklet, a schools curriculum pack, an archive of oral histories and photographs and a temporary exhibition at the Museum of Croydon.

In May 2007, the Croydon Clocktower will host a mini-exhibition based on the project as part of the learning disability arts festival.

More information can be found on the Day Centres website.