1989: Harnessing self-advocacy skills

The eighties saw the advent of advocacy and self-advocacy, with the foundation of the first UK based self-advocacy group for people with learning disabilities in 1984, and others that followed shortly after. MacIntyre saw its role as contributing to the growth of the voice of people with learning disabilities through enabling its residents to develop self-advocacy skills. The Ring 1989 recorded ‘the change we are making to the structure of the review system to ensure that it supports the adult status of the people here through the development of self advocacy skills and a role within the system for other forms of advocacy’. MacIntyre also provided experiences and created support systems that enabled people to cope with the potential stress emerging from speaking up for themselves. Staff received training in supporting residents to develop such skills, to practice them, to learn from them, and to carry out a more autonomous role in decisions about their own lives.


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