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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: Reclaiming social care: Adults with learning disabilities seizing opportunities in the shift from day services to community lives

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This study is about the ways in which people with learning disabilities and their allies are managing change in their social care, support and learning opportunities. A transformation is taking place in the UK (echoed elsewhere) in which many more disabled people are now living independently, as part of a broader move towards social care provision that is personalised and within the individual’s control. Meanwhile, there have been significant cuts to local authority budgets, with day centres, adult education provision and other services closing or limiting availability.

The proposed research seeks to examine how people with learning disabilities are responding in proactive ways to day service changes. It will explore how they are managing to participate in community settings and creating new forms of collective peer-led support. It will examine the informal, lifelong and community learning involved in the development of these, what we call, ‘self-build networks’.

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Funding body: ESRC funded study (General Call, Responsive Mode): ES/P011764/1

Duration: 22 February 2018 – 21 February 2020

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