The main premise driving MacIntyre was the belief that everyone should have a purpose in life and that everyone is equally important, children and staff.
This was a very important principle which continues to be central to MacIntyre today. Concepts such as “subnormality” were rejected. As a secular organisation the idea of equality came from a developing humanist movement in the seventies. Kenneth Newton Wright described it thus:
“Our object here is to educate them to the maximum of their ability, adapt this ability to a trade, so that when they are adult they are working in a job they enjoy doing, and which uses their abilities to the full. Whether you are handicapped or not if you are working to the maximum of your ability in a job which you enjoy doing you are leading a fulfilled life.”
Based on the principle that everyone is equal, MacIntyre developed a care pattern that accommodated low and high dependency residents, offering them opportunities to progress towards greater independence. Activities were based on individualised care plans with a high staff ratio. At a time when many people with learning disabilities were shut away in large institutions, this approach was progressive. Individuals were supported and encouraged to develop their abilities to their full potential. MacIntyre had a welcome all approach, not just with regard to severity of disability but also pan-disability. Its objects were inclusive of all children and adults with learning disabilities and physical disabilities.
“Based on the principle that everyone is equal, MacIntyre developed a care pattern that accommodated low and high dependency residents, offering them opportunities to progress towards greater independence. “
“No longer is it valid to assume that ultimate progress is likely to be limited. Experience has shown (and constantly reminds us) that care must be open-ended, creating opportunities for adjustment to normal life.”
Annual Report, 1978