Big Society, Disability and Civil Society Research

Website for ESRC research project 'Big Society? Disabled People with Learning Disabilities and Civil Society'

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The struggle for human rights is an international issue too!

We have been learning about the challenges facing disabled people in South East Asia. During a recent visit Dan Goodley had the pleasure to meet a number of people engaged disability issues in Singapore. These included Judy Wee (Disabled People’s Association), Lyn Loh (formerly Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and Disabled People’s Association), Andrew Chew (formerly Blind Sports Association of Singapore and Guide Dogs Association of the Blind), Michael Tan (former Executive Director of Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped), Ryan IK (National Council of Social Service), Lishan Chan (mental health advocate and National Council of Social Service), May Low (Singapore Association for the Deaf), Dr Wong Meng Ee (National Institute of Education), Lu Si Yinn (disability researcher) and Professor Reuben Wong (National University of Singapore). The workshops were organised and also attended by Emily Charissa Lim (AWARE, Association of Women for Action and Research)
Dan said:
Just as welfare services are being cut for people with intellectual disabilities in the UK – under the rhetoric of ‘we are all in this together’ – Singaporean colleagues spoke to me of the challenges of living in a society that prides itself on individual self-sufficiency. Indeed, they told me about a number of recent government initiatives that are increasing support to disabled people; which struck me as ironic when, from a British perspective, disabled people are having their support networks disbanded. 

Dan was in Singapore with a University of Sheffield delegation led by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, that seeks to extend partnerships in South East Asia. Dan gave a public lecture on the new iHuman: The Institute for the Study of the Human which will be launched later this year, to an audience of the general public, alumni, disability activists and key policy makers and researchers on the 5
thApril at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.
The following day Dan travelled to Kuala Lumpur to meet with researchers and governmental officers to discuss future research collaboration around the areas of disability, work and independent living.
Follow up links:

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Big Society just got a little bit smaller …

We’re really sorry to see this fantastic initiative lose funding ….


The Big Society just got a little bit smaller

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Max Neill

We are very sad to learn that Max Neill passed away on 29th February, 2016.

As an experienced community living advisor and leader in the development of person centred approaches, Max was a much-respected member of the research team. Max’s gentle presence served always to remind us of the power and importance of connected communities.

We will miss him.

Our thoughts are with his family.

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North West Regional Forum, Blackpool, 24th February, 2016

We were delighted to be invited back to Blackpool for this year’s regional forum.  You can find out more about self-advocacy in the North West here.

The annual Forum is an opportunity for 120 self-advocates from across the North West to come together to talk about the issues that matter to them.

Katherine said: “I would like to thank the Forum for inviting us again this year to talk about our research findings.  It was great to be able to talk about the work with self-advocates at the conference and I’m looking forward to visiting some of the local self-advocacy groups to tell them more.

If you would like to read our presentation to the Forum, you can down load it here

Blackpool LD Forum 2016

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PhD Studentship announced at MMU

Details of a studentship at Manchester Metropolitan University working with young people with learning disabilities in transition are available here: 

For information or for an informal chat contact